Agenda 2023: Zimbabweans beware!


A WHILE back, I wrote about Generation Democracy, which was an initiative by the American establishment to push the agenda that young people had to take up leadership positions at the earliest possible turn in the developing world.
Fronted by the International Republican Institute and first announced at the annual Freedom Award ceremony in 2015, the Institute announced that project Generation Democracy was a new global youth network that equips young men and women with the leadership skills necessary to become the next generation of democratic actors in their communities and countries.
While the announcement of the project was made in 2015, the initiative had already been kick-started with funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Generation Democracy had already grown into a global coalition of committed, politically active young people and more than 200 youth organisations with the drive to make a difference in their communities.
The narrative that young people should take up leadership positions is not new to political discourse.
In Zimbabwe, glimpse of the liberation struggle veterans shows that most of them left the then Rhodesia at tender ages (14, 15, 16).
They were children, but they were cognisant to the fact that liberty would not be handed to them on a silver platter and they had to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The current narrative as espoused by the Generation Democracy initiative is intended to mould youth leaders in the developing world into malleable instruments.
Of interest is that these young leaders are not being groomed by politicians in their home countries, but by outsiders, especially Americans, who will impart on them values, cultures and ideas that best serve the US under the guise of democratic tenets.
The growing number of countries that are being led by young leaders, be it presidents, prime ministers, royals, has also driven home the discourse that, now is the time for the youth to take up leadership positions.
Sebastian Kurz (31) who studied Law at the University of Vienna became Europe’s youngest foreign minister in 2013. He has also served on Vienna’s City Council and in Austria’s military.
He became the leader of the People’s Party in May 2017.
Kurz appealed to the right following the migrant crisis of 2015, which saw around one million people enter Europe, pledging to shut down the Balkan refugee route and restrict welfare payments to refugees.
North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, is believed to be either 33 or 34.
Kim was declared the supreme leader following the State funeral of his father on December 28 2011.
Kim holds the titles of Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and presidium member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (37) became Emir of Qatar on June 25 2013 after his father’s abdication.
Tamim has held a variety of Government posts within Qatar and also worked to promote numerous sporting events within the country.
As of 2013, Tamim is the youngest reigning monarch among the GCC countries and the youngest current sovereign worldwide.
Tamim was educated at Great Britain’s Sherborne School (International College) in Dorset and at Harrow School.
He then attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
Emmanuel Macron (39) was assumed the office of the President of France in May this year.
Before entering politics, he was a senior civil servant and investment banker.
Macron was appointed Deputy Secretary General in François Hollande’s first Government in May 2012, having been a member of the Socialist Party from 2006 to 2009.
He was appointed Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs in 2014 under the Second Valls Government, where he pushed through business-friendly reforms.
Macron, at the age of 39, became the youngest President in the history of France.
Estonia’s Prime Minister, Jüri Ratas is 39.
He is the current leader of Centre Party.
He acted as the Vice-President of the Riigikogu from 2007 to 2016 and Mayor of Tallinn from 2005 to 2007.
As a Mayor of Tallinn, he initiated the European Green Capital programme.
In the 2015 parliamentary election, Ratas was re-elected to parliament with 7 932 individual votes.
In March, he was elected as the Second Deputy Speaker of parliament.
The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel (41), is the son of Louis Michel, a prominent Belgian politician.
Charles Michel was the leader of the Francophone Liberal Party, Mouvement Réformateur (MR) since February 2011 until becoming Prime Minister.
Michel is the youngest Belgian Prime Minister since 1845. Michel has been elected to the federal Chamber of Representatives since 1999, representing Walloon Brabant, a stronghold of the liberal MR.
In 2000, he became Minister of Home Affairs in the Walloon Government.
Aged 25, he became the youngest minister in Belgium’s history.
At the local level, he was elected city councillor in Wavre in 2000.
In 2006, he became mayor of the city.
In December 2007, Michel became the Belgian Minister of Development Co-operation in the Verhofstadt III Government and subsequently in the Leterme I, Van Rompuy I and Leterme II governments.
After the June 2009 regional elections, Michel was part of a group demanding the MR leader Didier Reynders to step down.
After the party suffered further losses in the June 2010 federal elections, Reynders eventually stepped down.
Charles Michel then announced his candidacy for leader of MR.
In January 2011, he was elected leader of the Mouvement Réformateur, for which he resigned as Minister for Development Co-operation.
Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras (43), rose to prominence as a representative of the student movement in the early 1990s when he was still in High School, after having joined the Communist Youth of Greece in the late 1980s.
As a university student, Tsipras joined the ranks of the renascent left-wing movement, particularly the ‘Enceladus’ (group, and as member of it was elected to the executive board of the students’ union of the Civil Engineering School of NTUA, and also served as student representative on the University Senate.
From 1995 to 1997, he was an elected member of the Central Council of the National Students Union of Greece (EFEE). Tsipras first entered the limelight of mainstream Greek politics during the 2006 local election when he ran for Mayor of Athens and gained 10,51 percent of the Athenian vote, finishing third overall.
Joseph Muscat (43), has served as Prime Minister of Malta since 2013, and has been the leader of the Partit Laburista (PL) since June 2008.
Muscat was re-elected as Prime Minister on June 3 2017. Previously he was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2004 to 2008.
He was leader of the opposition from October 2008 to March 2013.
Muscat identified as a progressive and liberal politician, with pro-business leanings, has been associated with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies.
Becoming an MP in 2008, he succeeded Alfred Sant as party leader.
Muscat rebranded the Labour Party, which embraced an increasingly socially liberal position.
Agenda 2023, is a long term plan for Zimbabwe, which is part of efforts by the West to effect regime change in the country. Zimbabwe remains of key interest to the West and this has seen the push to remove the liberation struggle element out of politics taking various forms including attempts to separate the people of Zimbabwe from ZANU PF by making the economy ‘scream’; regime revolution which sought to divide the party leadership by labelling some hawks or hardliners, while those who are seen as likely to embrace regime changers as doves or moderates.
It has become apparent that 2018 would not bring in the desired ‘change’ and as such, the new target is the 2023 election, at which point, some of the noise makers that have been borne out of the social media revolution would be ‘ripe to run for office’.
Since the eruption of the protest movements onto the political scene, players have been jostling to identify young leaders who would pose a challenge to ZANU PF and groom them for political office.


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