Shingirai Mikhail Chabata

Shingirai Mikhail Chabata is a member of the Executive Directorate and National Directorate and is the Chairperson for the Youth Forum of the United Zimbabwe Alliance, UZA.

Mr Chabata was born in Kadoma, Mashonaland West Zimbabwe. He is a young Zimbabwean politician who is known for his fiery outspoken nature. He entered the national political arena first as the Secretary General (2014–16) of Students Voice, and then as the Independent candidate for Zaka North during the 2018 Zimbabwe harmonised elections. He participated as an Independent candidate because he realised that young people were being taken for granted by political parties.

Mr Chabata believes that young people have what it takes to make a change in Zimbabwe. He also believes that the problems that face the country today can only be solved by a change in leadership and it must be a youth-oriented change. The youth have been asking for space as the candidates and decision makers in Zimbabwe but up to now there had been no party which has youth in positions of influence, or has youth being groomed for future leadership of their parties presidium.

Raised by his parents who are communal farmers in Zaka Masvingo, Mr Chabata when he was seventeen years of age, joined the Mufakose Club, a group of young students from various schools across Mufakose - and he was elected Vice Chair. He joined the MDC Buduriro Youth Assembly in 2009 and quickly assumed local and regional leadership positions in the group. Mr Chabata was also active in ZINASU, becoming province secretary general for Mashonaland West in 2012 and then resigning in 2013 after he realised that students were being used as political stepping stones by politicians. In 2015 Mr Chabata gathered with other students from across Zimbabwe's universities to form a student union which was not aligned to any political party and he was elected Secretary General of the union. During the same year he participated in founding Zimbabwe People First.

As the Secretary General of Students Voice, Mr Chabata has been protesting the dearth of jobs in Zimbabwe, a country with an unemployment rate hovering around 90 percent. Parents in Zimbabwe investing heavily towards their children’s education and the country is regarded as one of the most literate in Africa; its universities graduate thousands of students - but a college education doesn’t do you much good if you can’t get a job after you graduate.

Mr Chabata has a history of activism - and many followers. He was instrumental, for example in mobilising students across Zimbabwe against tertiary institutions who charge students full fees while on attachment through his ‘Attachment Fees Must Fall” campaign.

During his time in Zimbabwe People First, Mr Chabata was outspoken saying that young people were not given opportunity to lead.

After months of discussion about youth inclusion in political leadership and about forming a new party which will prioritise the young, in May 2021 Mr Chabata with other young people across Zimbabwe gathered to form a new political party, the United Zimbabwe Alliance. Mr Chabata was elected Youth Chair.