By Nkanyiso Ncube
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has warned young people against taking the freedom and rights they enjoy today for granted adding that they are the fruits of a hard won independence.
Addressing young people drawn from around the country for the official opening of the 25th Session of the Junior Parliament of Zimbabwe (JPZ) last Friday, Mugabe said as the country reflects on the brutality of the apartheid regime against innocent children, it was important not to let their sacrifices go in vain, as the situation was similar in Zimbabwe during the Smith regime.
“We have said bygones are bygones but we shall never forget these acts of brutality that were committed on us and on our children. We shall remember them so we do not take our freedom for granted and we continue to respect, naturally, those of our cadres who are still alive for the fight that they put up.
“We should derive courage and determination also to look at Zimbabwe as a country hard earned, whose independence was hard earned and as government tries to develop our nation you in school, others elsewhere perhaps having left school and working all of us, every one of us must bear in mind, bear in mind all the time, constantly that we are are inheritors of the result of that struggle, the blood that was shed.
“And so when we are at school we should take our schooling very seriously because the advantage that you have is the advantage accruing from the sacrifices that were made by those who are gone who sacrificed for our independence,” he said.
President Mugabe said since independence in 1980, government has made tremendous strides in investing in the youths, paying particular focus on improving access to education.
“Government therefore regards the development of children as a very important program for the country and also for Africa in general.
“This therefore has led us to the establishment of the junior Parliament, an institution mainly for our youth and for their development so that as they act in this institution they will be training as our future leaders, future ministers and for other walks in life.
He added; “The children come with their concerns and express them in Parliament and then there is the interaction with the ministers and that way we get to know what our children feel and what we can do in shaping and improving our system of education so it can then be suited to their own concerns and the concerns of our nation.”