25 May 2017

Zimbabwe: Elders Must Lead By Example

editorial

It is each and every generation's wish to leave behind a better world than they would have found it. It is also an ideal that each successive generation long for to achieve results that are far much better than those achieved by their predecessors.

Reports about the abuse of loans accessed under the Youth Fund conspire with a number of other sickening developments taking place in Zimbabwe to diminish any hope we might have had about the youths of today turning a new page on how the country is being managed.

A Parliamentary Committee on Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment, which is on a countrywide tour to assess how the fund is being administered stumbled upon heart-wrenching evidence of wanton abuse of the fund introduced by government a few years ago to assist beneficiaries launch their careers as entrepreneurs.

There have been cases whereby beneficiaries have channelled the funds towards consumption and hence the culprits are now unable to repay the loans.

The Minister of Youth, Patrick Zhuwao, also stands accused of misdirecting himself by arm-twisting his subordinates into making some controversial payments. He has previously appeared before Parliament to answer allegations of commandeering the Zimbabwe Youth Council into paying US$18 000 in consultancy fees to a company owned by Acie Lumumba, then a board member for the council.

In the wake of revelations of abuse of the Youth Fund, the minister had the audacity to defend the indefensible last week.

"I don't agree with the reports and allegations that the youths have abused the funds. We forget what happened to other large companies which were removed from the Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation due to unpaid debts they had," said Zhuwao, adding: "There are Members of Parliament who have US$3 million debts, who now point fingers at youths who only have US$2 000, which is a bad thing. Instead, let us focus on strategies to empower the youths and grow the economy."

We do not agree!

What Zhuwao is forgetting is that the fund was in actual fact seen as the panacea for the total emancipation of youths, but it may collapse because those who borrow from it are unashamedly irresponsible.

Even worse, their elders cannot see anything wrong with their blatant disregard of the terms and conditions under which they were advanced the loans because they themselves cannot claim a high moral ground since they are equally guilty of doing the same thing.

This is reflective of that which has gone wrong with our society whereby such vices like corruption, mismanagement and theft are rife, while the so-called tenderpreneurs, multiple farm owners and isms such as nepotism, tribalism, regionalism and racism are only condemned in public fora, but glorified under the cover of darkness.

As sure as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, this cancer is spreading like a veldt fire from one generation to the next. This is why today's youths are breaking all the records in orchestrating politically-motivated violence, hooliganism, hurling insults and obscenities at their elders, drug abuse and drinking themselves silly at sex parties and at some such places. They are simply taking after their elders.

Certainly, the future looks bleak unless elders start leading by example.

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