Ray Joseph Kaukonde, a former chairman of the Mashonaland East province for the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), has reached out to young people in a bid to promote sustainable development for young people and their families.
Kaukonde posted on his Facebook page on March 11 saying: “Will be posting my email address where innovative young people can sent their project proposals. Your proposals should not be more than a $5,000 budget to kick start it. No political projects please. It’s time we focus on bread and butter issues. We as your parents have a lot to teach you and also learn from you. My son was teaching me how to run a Twitter handle. My point is we are also learning a lot from the fourth generation.”
Having been active in the political scene for many years, Kaukonde is believed to be a former member of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organization (CIO). From here he was elected into the Mashonland East province and has continued to campaign on behalf of other parties.
Kaukonde is a part of Zimbabwe People First, a democratic party that aims “to attain peace, freedom, democracy and prosperity for all.” In addition, its main strategy is to “Remove All Measurable Pitfalls (RAMP) across all sectors by promoting a full understanding and commitment by the country’s leadership and its people to BUILD.” The party first registered with Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on March 1, 2016.
Thoughts often turn toward the party’s leadership struggles, which have arisen from some party members having previous affiliation with the ZANU–PF, a liberation war movement active in the 1980s, when the country obtained its independence. Kaukonde was also dismissed from the war movement on the basis he was no longer representing its interests.
While Zimbabwe People First has yet to win an election, Kaukonde’s focus may yet win over the minds of Zimbabwe’s youth and drive further support toward the party.