Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday met with junior parliamentarians after holding their inaugural Junior Cabinet in Harare.
Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao accompanied Junior President Tinaye Mbavari and her team comprising other junior parliamentarians.
Junior President Mbavari told the Acting President that issues on their Junior Cabinet agenda included child marriages, drug use and abuse, patriotism and discovering and nurturing talents.
Minister Zhuwao expressed gratitude to the Government for establishing the Junior Parliament.
“They (junior parliamentarians) are in the process of conducting their first session of the Junior Cabinet, so we felt it is necessary and important that we pay a courtesy call on you,” said Minister Zhuwao.
Acting President Mnangagwa said Government was committed to listen to the issues affecting young people as he also suggested how they should conduct their Junior Cabinet sessions.
He implored the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment to have representatives in the Junior Cabinet sessions to take minutes of issues under discussion.
“Then you will know yourselves, which appropriate ministers are affected by the debate and then they are given those minutes,” said Acting President Mnangagwa.
“At the next session of your sitting as Cabinet, then you put that on matters arising. The first aspect will be dealing with matters arising where these ministers will answer. After matters arising, you don’t kick them out, but ask them to leave.”
Acting President Mnangagwa said Government was elated that the current junior parliamentarians were active compared to previous ones.
He said Government wanted young people to raise issues affecting them so that it can address them.
“We would like to hear what the young people are saying about their country, about the economic situation in the country, about social activities in the country, about politics in the country, about agriculture in the country and tourism in the country,” said Acting President Mnangagwa.
He said he met with various stakeholders earlier yesterday where they deliberated on the scourge of child marriages.
Junior President Mbavari said other issues on the Junior Cabinet’s agenda were unemployment, peaceful engagement between youths and political leaders, discrimination, child labour, sanitation, kids and young people in contact or conflict with the law, recreational facilities, land redistribution to the youths and silent problems affecting the children like marital divorce.
Acting President Mnangagwa asked Junior President Mbavari to explain the silent issues affecting young people.
“What we mean on silent problems, is that there is separation of parents and divorce.
“We are debating them because we want to prove that children should not be affected by these problems.
“If parents have separated, both parents have the responsibility to take care of the child because it’s their child. It should not be a responsibility of one parent to take care of the child,” said Junior President Mbavari.
Junior President Mbavari is a Lower Sixth student at Early Bird Educational Centre in Marondera.