ZANU PF and MDC youths on Wednesday submitted divergent views over the root cause of the country’s economic quagmire, with either parties citing sanctions and corruption respectively.
The submissions were made at a Town Hall meeting in Chitungwiza organized by Youth Journalists Association of Zimbabwe (YOJA) and Youth Forum.
The youths debated on the topic ‘Sanctions or Corruption what has destroyed the country’s economy’.
The panel included the ZANU PF Youth League secretary for administration Tendai Chirau, Chitungwiza mayor Lovemore Maiko and MDC youth wing chairperson Obey Sithole.
Youth Forum (YF) Chairman Ashton Bumhira said it is important for the youths to gather and discuss some of the issues that are affecting them and the country at large.
“We the youths are the ones who are suffering because we still have the future to live and have a brighter future for our families, “said Bumhira.
YOJA secretary general Philemon Jambaya weighed in and said youths must participate in the political discourse and discuss issues affecting them with view of finding lasting possible solutions.
“The youths must be encouraged to disseminate information on the issues that are affecting the country using various forms of communication.
“Regardless of which political party you belong to, as youths we must meet and discuss the issues that are affecting the country especially the issues involve sanctions and corruption which we are all aware are major contributory factors to our ailing economy,” said Jambaya
Zanu PF youth league secretary for administration Chirau blamed sanctions for being the root cause of the current state of economy.
“Sanctions have destroyed our economy at large after the United States enacted a law under ZIDERA which states that government industries will be placed on sanctions. The companies placed on sanctions were the major backbone of our country,” said Chirau.
He however admitted that corruption was in existence and said the youth league is complementing government efforts to curb the rot.
“Corruption is everywhere in the country in the government and the society. Even the civil societies has been implicated stealing funds meet to assist vulnerable communities, “said Chirau.
“The government has assigned ZACC to expose and investigate all corrupt activities and arrest them,” he added.
Chitungwiza mayor Maiko did not share the same sentiments and he said corruption was the cancer killing the economy.
“The sanctions are targeting individuals and not every citizen.
“ Remember during Ian Smith’s era, the country had a very strong economy but was under sanctions, “said Maiko.
“The economic hardships are a result of bad governance. You cannot blame sanctions while you know where the problem is coming from is the corrupt government.
“Take a closer look of the Reward Kangai Net One saga, Grain Marketing Board and Willowgate scandal.
“These are a few examples of corrupt activities that contributed to the economic destruction,” said Maiko.
“I remember Chimurenga musician Thomas Mapfumo once sang a song titled “Corruption”, long back and this was to reflect the levels of corruption that has destroyed the country, “ added Maiko.
MDC Youth league chairperson Sithole concurred with Maiko at the panel discussion that sanctions were only a microcosm of the macrocosm which is corruption and bad governance.
“The government has chased away more than 200 doctors who are complained of incapacitation instead of addressing the issue at hand, this clearly shows that the country is not their priority.
“If the ZANU PF government deals with corruption the economy of Zimbabwe will be the most admirable economy in Africa.
“We should not blame sanctions for the economic destruction of the country but blame the corrupt people who masquerade as having people at heart but full of corrupt mentality,“said Sithole.
The forum was peaceful and attended by youths from across the political divide.