ZIMBABWE – The Youth Advocacy for Reform and Democracy (YARD), a brainchild of former Zanu PF legislator, Temba Mliswa, says calls by the ruling party’s youth wing to have President Robert Mugabe’s birthday declared a national holiday were out of order.
Addressing a press conference in Harare on Wednesday, YARD spokesperson, Tinotenda Mhungu, said the 21st February Movement, named in honour of Mugabe’s birthday on that date, was a party and not a national event.
“Let us reflect upon the proposal forwarded by the Zanu PF Secretary for Youth Affairs, Pupurai Togarepi, that the 21st of February should be observed as a public holiday every year to be named youth day…I beg to differ as only Zanu PF youths were extended the privilege of an invitation to attend the festivities at the exclusion of youths across the political divide,” he said.
He said Zanu PF could not impose a public holiday on everyone for an event that did not have a national appeal, adding the party was free to celebrate the day on their own without forcing people to fund their festivities.
“My question here is that with the country’s unemployment levels currently pegged at unprecedented levels and with 70 percent of the youth labouring under this travesty, what do they want a holiday for? A holiday to mark the daily holiday they already forcibly suffer through every day.”
Mhungu said that in a country struggling with recession, there was need to engage more as opposed to resting more.