A MATABELELAND South youth advocacy group has called for a 30% youth quota instead of 10 parliamentary seats allocated to the youth for the 2023 elections in proposed constitutional amendments.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Government recently approved constitutional amendments that will see the creation of 10 parliamentary seats for the youth, extension of women’s quota by another 10 years and scrapping of the running mate concept on Presidential elections.
“On the youth quota, the proposal is to increase our seats by 10 and have each province get one youth representative, so parties will submit the names of candidates and depending on the votes in the province, the party with the majority will have its candidate in Parliament, so we are not cutting down on anything,” acting Information minister Amon Murwira announced after a recent Cabinet meeting.
The Community Youth for Development Trust (CYDT), a Matabeleland South youth advocacy group, however, said the proposal was not enough and instead suggested a 30% quota for the youth in the next elections.
“While we do acknowledge that this is a positive step, we believe that reserving only one seat per (province) is not enough considering that young people constitute the majority of the Zimbabwean population,” the CYDT said in a statement yesterday.
“As CYDT, we call upon the government to introduce a proper and well-defined quota system that comes as a stand-alone in the Constitution. As CYDT, our proposition is that there should be 30% youth parliamentary representation as from the 2023 elections.”
The adoption of women and youth’s quotas is seen as key to the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the promotion of democracy through inclusive institutions.
Also, the adoption of electoral quotas for politically under-represented groups has become a prominent policy worldwide.
“Youth representation should be at political party levels and, therefore, we challenge political parties in Zimbabwe to start developing and implementing strategies that will ensure that their candidates in the 2023 candidates have a clear and balanced representation of both women and youth,” the CYDT added.