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Mnangagwa to open 26th session of Child Parliament

President Emmerson Mnangagwa will on Saturday officially open the 26th Session of the Child Parliament.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The Zimbabwe Youth Council will coordinate and oversee the operation of the Junior Parliament, which serves as a leadership development and advocacy arm on children’s rights.

Junior Parliament also seeks to facilitate participation of youths in governance issues.

Child President Tinaye Mbavari will inspect the Junior National Guard before chairing a joint session of the lower and upper house that will sit in the National Assembly.

The Zimbabwe Child Parliament, which mirrors the National Parliament set-up where every constituency in the country has a child parliamentarian representative, was established in 1991 as a way of commemorating the Day of the African Child on June 16 each year.

On June 16, 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, thousands of black schoolchildren took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of their education and demand their right to be taught in their own language.

Hundreds of them were shot down; and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand injured.

To honour their courage and in memory of those killed, in 1991 the Organisation of African Unity — now the African Union — established the Day of the African Child. The Day also draws attention to the lives of African children today.

The Zimbabwe Youth Council and the Youth, Sports, Arts and  Recreation ministry are using this day to convene the Junior Parliament that will bring together children from across the spectrum to debate, dialogue and share experiences

The official opening and first sitting of the Junior Parliament will see young people sharing their experiences, the experiences of their peers, lobbying for alignment of laws and adoption of policies for children in the presence of Mnangagwa and his Cabinet, MPs, government officials, civic society and children. –DailyNews