ZIMBABWE YOUTH COUNCIL STATEMENT ON THE SUPPORT RENDERED BY THE MINISTRY OF HIGHER &TERTIARY EDUCATION THROUGH ZIMDEF

The Zimbabwe Youth Council wishes to clarify to its affiliate organizations, partners and other stakeholders on a matter that has been reported in the media regarding support amounting to 100 000litres of diesel fuel donated by the Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education.

It is a fact that indeed we received support in the form of fuel from the Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education and our Executive Director Mr Livingstone Dzikira acknowledged receiving that fuel.

On the 22nd of July the Youth Council wrote to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education requesting support to conduct a youth skills mapping exercise. This request was our facilitation in support of an exercise that is being undertaken by one of the Youth Councils’ affiliate organizations, the ZANU PF Youth League.

Upon receiving these fuel coupons the Youth Council immediately dispatched the entire consignment of coupons to the ZANU PF Youth League Secretariat at Zanu PF Headquarters, which signed for the fuel acknowledging receipt. The Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission is in possession of all documentation relating to this transaction.

For the avoidance of speculation and mis-information the Youth Council registers and facilitates the work of registered youth organizations in terms of the Zimbabwe Youth Council Act. To be specific, the Youth Council Act, (Chapter 25:19) establishes and mandates the Youth Council to foster the activities of youth organizations in the country. The Revised National Youth Policy of 2013 makes it clear that the role of the Youth Council shall be to interface between government and the youth in the country.

In fulfilling this statutory mandate, the Zimbabwe Youth Council has facilitated   the work of numerous youth organizations to receive funding, scholarships, grants, donations and loans from many organizations including the private sector, the Government of Zimbabwe, the United Nations Departments among others. In facilitating support for youth organizations in the country, the Youth Council pays attention to whether the requesting youth organization is duly registered in terms of the Youth Council Act, and whether it has the necessary skills and structures to conduct the programme or exercise they seek to conduct.

In this particular case the Zanu PF Youth League is a duly registered youth organization and the Youth Council is satisfied that the Youth League’s has the structural and human capacity to conduct the youth skills mapping exercise that it sought to conduct.

The same Act stipulates that at the end of its operating year, each registered national association shall submit its annual report and financial statement. It is at that, after receiving a report, that the Youth Council can sanction an audit into the operations of each National Youth Association. It is therefore preposterous and prejudicial for the Youth Council to, without basis and in advance, assume that the Youth League has misappropriated the resources they secured through us.

The Youth Council is expecting that stakeholders will allow the youth to carry out the skills mapping programme they said they wanted to carry out, whose outcome will inform the skills development planning policies of government.

Having said this, it is however shocking and insightful to note that:

  1. The information surrounding this transaction was secured by investigators of ZACC, an anti corruption constitutional body which has not yet completed its investigations and yet the media has already been debriefed of the case. This leakage to the media of incomplete information betrays an agenda that is more political than professional. It would be interesting to know whether ZACC will investigate its officers for disclosing to the media information on a case that is still pending.
  2. This support rendered to the Youth League is not the only support that has been given to the Youth League by government departments. Over the years, the 21st February Movement, a Youth League program meant to instill the values of patriotism, discipline and commitment has received support from many departments in government and there is no single investigation that has been conducted on those government departments.
  3. Other Youth Organizations that have received support from government, including the Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (ZICOSU) have not been subjected to the same hit man style of investigations and subsequent leakage of information to the media as done in this case where the Zanu PF Youth League is the beneficiary of the support. ZIMDEF itself has given support to this ZANU PF aligned youth organization with amounts exceeding 75 000$. It therefore betrays bias and selective investigating methods to target one beneficiary which in turn betrays a malicious agenda on the part of those behind the mis-information.
  4. There is also further evidence of malice in that those who are providing information to the media (ZACC sources) are not disclosing the fact that they are in possession of documents that indicate that the ZANU PF Youth League signed and acknowledged receipt of the 100 000litres. This means that who-ever instructed this leakage does not have the honesty and the courage to disclose the reality that in-fact this resource ended at the ZANU PF YL Headquarters.

The Youth Council therefore wishes to place it on record that the said fuel is with Zanu PF Youth League, having received that support through their membership of the Zimbabwe Youth Council. The secretariat of the Youth League signed for this fuel and therefore is fully accountable for the usage of that fuel.

In due course we expect that the ZANU PF Youth League will furnish the Youth Council with its Annual Report which will include this support together with a report on the specific outputs of the programme of  Youth Skills Assessment that they are conducting in the districts of the country, for which they requested this support.

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