By Portia Sigauke
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe, First lady Grace Mugabe and Cabinet ministers are expected to grace the official opening of the 25th Junior Parliament at the City Sports Centre in Harare today (17 June 2017).
This year’s celebration will be held under the theme “Appreciatively discovering Zimcheer entrepreneurs as a way of accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities towards fulfilling the 2030 agenda for sustainable development for children in Africa”.
More than ten thousands school children and invited guests drawn from Harare, including incoming Junior Parliamentarians are expected to attend the official opening.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) which is the custodian of the Junior Parliament said the parliamentarians had arrived in the capital as early as Wednesday and went through through the rehearsals and orientation from the 15th.
“The incoming Junior Parliamentarians are expected to arrive in Harare on Wednesday (14 June 2017). On Thursday the 15th all Junior Parliamentarians are expected to go through rehearsals and attend orientation workshop for them to know parliamentary procedures and children rights visave the selected theme of the African Union,” read part of the statement.
According to ZYC, the election of the Junior presidium and junior cabinet was already done and awaiting the official announcement and inauguration. .
The inspiration to establish the Junior Parliament came from the Soweto massacre which took place on the 16th of June, 1976 at which more than 700 protesters, mostly children, were killed by the South African Police leading top the commemoration of the Day of the African Child.
The junior parliament came following the declaration by the Government of Zimbabwe in 1991 to recognize efforts made by children and young people in the various liberation struggles across Africa and their continued ability to be the vanguard of the hard won independence.