The Herald (Harare)

9 April 2009

Zimbabwe: Embrace Diversity, Youths Told

Harare — Youths from Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations should shun violence and direct their energy towards reviving the social and economic sectors, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has said.

Speaking at a youth conference that was attended by youths from the three main political parties and smaller parties Dep PM Mutambara said youths should not be threatened by diversity but should embrace it as it could salvage the country.

"There comes a time in the history of a nation when it embarks on a new journey, such time has come to our country we are working together, thinking together and we will prosper together.

"What it means is that we have the opportunity to salvage our country.

"We have young people from all corners of the country who are in the same place to discuss the agenda for Zimbabwe.

"We are not going to discuss slogans but we are all Zimbabweans. We are going to swim or sink together regardless of our political affiliation," he said.

Dep PM Mutambara urged youths to make sacrifices that benefit the country giving examples of the lives of nationalists such as President Mugabe and the late national hero Cde Eddison Zvobgo, among others.

"Young people make things happen, even if I had differences with President Mugabe I am envious with the results of his generation, one of them is 1980 (Independence).

"What is your generation's result Kasukuwere (Saviour), Chamisa (Nelson), Biti (Tendai) and myself?" he quizzed.

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Employment Creation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere echoed the same sentiments and urged the youths to emulate their leaders who have buried their differences to work together for the country's benefit.

"We have come here for the first time in our recent history as youths to chart a way forward in terms of empowering of our generation.

"Before the inclusive Government this kind of meeting would have been impossible, we should pay tribute to our political leaders who have found common ground and united us in government.

"It is fairly easy to see the difference that separate us, but a strong nation is built when greater emphasis is put on what brings us together as Zimbabweans," he said.

That realisation, he said, becomes a springboard for national integration and development. Minister Kasukuwere said youths should not waste time debating things that were already on the agenda of Government in terms of the Global Political Agreement.

"Don't waste time fighting because those in Government are already building bridges. We expect the same from you as our nation moves forward," he said.

Information Communication and Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa also urged youths to take the initiative of being inclusive.

"We need an Act of Parliament that empowers the Minister of Youth to come up with a National Youth Day to rejoice those who have excelled in various disciplines," he said.

The conference was aimed at promoting dialogue among the country's youths and encouraging peaceful co-existence.

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