A group of youths calling themselves the Zimbabwe Coalition of Unemployed Graduates on Wednesday wrote to President Robert Mugabe demanding that the 92-year-old leader listen to their grievances at parliament on August 3.
Addressing a press conference in Harare, one of the organisers of the march, Howard Madya, said they would conduct a peaceful march from Copacabana Bus Terminus to the parliament building where they were expecting to have an audience with Mugabe.
He said many who had dared to express displeasure at the way the country was being run, among them Linda Masarira, had met with state heavy-handedness instead of having their issues addressed in a civil manner.
“Linda Masarira committed no crime but has been in detention for over a month. We need action from all right-thinking Zimbabweans to have Linda out of prison today. While this injustice continues, we are equally orchestrating a response to the unjust inhuman state of the nation as the unemployed youths to demand our 2 million jobs, our 2 million futures, and 2 million dreams from the government of the day,” he said.
He said it was incumbent upon the unemployed and skilled Zimbabweans to take a decisive step to pave the way for an emancipating path in Zimbabwe. In the letter to Mugabe dated July 27, 2016, the youths said they were calling on him to heed their invitation as nonpolitical individuals he had led for more than three decades.
“We, the unemployed graduates of Zimbabwe, graduate being anyone who passed a certain level of education or holders of any skill, do invite you to come and hear us say out our grievances and offer solutions to mitigate the high unemployment rate in Zimbabwe,” read part of the letter.
They said it was now clear that government would not meet its promise of 2.2 million jobs made in the run-up to the 2013 elections, as industry was actually closing down.
“Will you be able to meet your election promise, and how do you intend to do so? Seeing that the major cause of this failure is the high corruption, nepotism and blatant disregard of the rule of law by some office bearers,” read part of the letter.
The youths also demanded that Mugabe call back activist Pastor Evan Mawarire of the #ThisFlag movement, saying Zimbabwe was his only home. Responding to questions at the press conference, Kudzai Hove, one of the youths, said Mawarire had a right to live in Zimbabwe peacefully despite having divergent views from those of Mugabe or anyone else.
He said it was the duty of the president to ensure the diversity of the people of Zimbabwe was respected, even those he disagreed with.
“I don’t expect to wake up one morning and be told that I am now stateless. I have been chucked out and told to go wherever people are backing me. So we expect the president to actually tell Mawarire to come back because Zimbabwe is safe. There is no one else who can reassure him that, because it was the President who said it at the Heroes Acre that he should leave the country,” he said,” he said.
Hove said Mugabe should listen to the people instead of trying to silence them from airing their grievances. He said Mugabe and those in his government had lost track of what they had fought for and should be reminded to go back and implement the constitution to the letter.
“We are calling for the upholding of the constitution.
“On duties of the president, the constitution says he must ensure protection of human rights rule of law, but we have seen the travesty where human rights are trampled upon and we are calling on the president, not anyone else, to come and hear us give him solutions on how to do these things, as we offer to implement them not on a partisan basis, “ he said.
– African News Agency (ANA)