Home » Human Rights » Jobless Youths Vow ‘Arab Spring’ Protests

DISGRUNTLED Zimbabwean youths have threatened to stage protests akin to the 2011 North African uprisings if President Robert Mugabe’s government continuously fails to live up to its pre-2013 election promises of providing jobs.

Youths, who were part of a workshop organised by the Youth Forum, an NGO, and parliament’s youth and indigenisation committee this past week, vowed to press for employment in a country now turned an economy of informal traders.

The government claims there is no unemployment crisis adding joblessness was actually at around 11 percent because most Zimbabweans were self-employed as informal traders.

A Zanu PF legislators recently dismissed claims of increasing poverty saying she had not seen dead bodies on the streets to prove the allegations people were suffering.

But Danmore Chuma, coordinator with the Youth of Zimbabwe for Transparency and Progress, said youths were increasingly becoming impatient with government’s failure to fulfil its promises for jobs.

He threatened protests which he said should engulf the country as was experienced during the Tunisian protests 2011, which were sparked by a vendor who got frustrated by the continued harassment by municipal police.

“We should take courage from what Mohamed Bouazizi did which sparked the Arab spring, a heroic move by someone who had been traumatised by an insensitive government,” he said.

“It is high time we say enough is enough and we want parliamentarians here present to inform their colleagues that we are not happy.”

Bouazizi set himself ablaze December 2010, triggering an uprising which snowballed into what has commonly come to be referred to as the Arab spring.

North African despots Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia was forced to flee his country after the protests engulfed his country while Hosni Mubarak, former Egyptian gman, was also deposed and thrown into jail for numerous crimes against humanity.

Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi tried to resist the revolt but was later assassinated in combat by Libyan rebels who were being assisted by NATO forces.

Restless Zimbabwean youths see it in them they can replicate the brave acts against a government that has not behaved any different from the deposed North African administrations.

The ruling Zanu PF launched its campaign last year on a two million job creation promise but has seemingly achieved the opposite the closure of firms through viability problems.

Although Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate has remained the subject of scholarly debate, independent sources have pegged it at no less than 80 per cent.

Addressing the same gathering, Youth Forum Zimbabwe coordinator Wellington Zindove rubbished government’s penchant to craft successive blueprints which have failed to see the light of day.

“Before elections, there was talk of creating 2.2 million jobs translating to 33,000 jobs a month, which is not realistic,” he said.

“We want realistic targets so we will not be forced to pressure the government demanding that they honour their promise.

“We demand action and tangible evidence that government is seeking funding for its blueprints to be transformed into beneficial programmes for citizens.”

Government insists its ZimAsset blueprint provides all the answers to the country’s economic wars.

But the document has been condemned for its abstract nature as it would require an unrealistic $27 billion to see all its programmes implemented.

Source : New Zimbabwe