(By Tobias Phiri and Isaac Zulu)
UPND vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba says the youths who still believe in the PF government are yet to be shocked by the pronouncements that will be made before 2021.
In an interview, Mwamba advised the youths not to lose heart despite the PF failing them.
He said the youth were an important ingredient in the development of a nation.
“It’s a pity that there is nothing to celebrate about the youth day under the leadership of Edgar Chagwa Lungu. What the PF promised the youths in 2011, it’s a pity that nothing has given fruit, the youths are still unemployed and continue to be unemployed. They have always been used in political violence but this PF government does not think about the youths when it comes to job creation,” Mwamba said.
“I encourage the youths, they should remain steadfast, it’s just a question of time, once the UPND forms government, our priority will be to deal with the unemployment of the youths because there is no country which can produce anything without the participation of the youth.”
Mwamba consoled the youth to remain focused and brace themselves for tough times ahead.
“Both male and female youths should brace for tough times ahead because we know that this government has failed you. This will be a different story when we the UPND forms government. Remain strong and focused. When elections come, don’t be swayed by the little tokens that they will bring to you to sway your minds. This government has already demonstrated that they have failed you,” Mwamba said.
“Those that may still be hopeful that this regime will make reasonable pronouncements are yet to get a shock of their lifetimes because more silly and unrealistic puzzling decision like that of buying expensive fire engines, importing expired drugs, scrapping of meal allowances and reducing fuel by less than K1 while they increase by more than K2.5 will be pronounced.”
Mwamba added that the youth should wait and vote out the PF in 2021.
“They have failed to run the state and they have no idea how to empower the youths whether with skills or with capital to start business and run small enterprises. Voting Edgar and his friends into power was a mistake, which should not have been made. But being where we are today, let us count down and escort them out of power come August 2021,” said GBM.
And UPND member, Costain Chilikwazi, says Youth Day has lost meaning.
Chilikwazi in an interview explained that young Zambians have lost interest in Youth Day commemoration owing to government’s failure to actualise policy pronouncements made each time youths gather to reflect on achievements scored by decision makers in their quest to involve young people in development programmes.
He pointed out that there was need for the government to formulate and actualise policies aimed at empowering young people with knowledge and skills that would enable them actively participate in national development processes.
“Every year in this country during Youth Day commemorations, our political leaders loudly talk, make policy pronouncements indicating that the government is committed to addressing the challenges facing young people in the nation and the perceived successes scored by decision makers in their endeavour to involve youths in development programmes. And many a time they tend to make reference to the programmes embedded in the National Youth Policy,” Chilikwazi said. “But what is surprising is that these policy pronouncements do not come to fruition. And because of that, Youth Day has lost its meaning; young people no longer value Youth Day because politicians have been using it as platform to foment lies against young people with a view to win popularity from young people. I strongly feel that there is need for the government to formulate and actualise policies aimed at empowering young people with knowledge and skills that would enable them actively participate in national development processes.”
Chilikwazi also said that there was need for political leaders to ensure that there was equal distribution of wealth to all youths regardless of their political affiliation.
He said this would in turn motivate young people to claim their rightful positions in spheres of life.
“We have also noticed that some empowerment programmes stipulated in the National Youth Policy only benefit young people from the ruling party. I feel that there’s need for political leaders, particularly the government to ensure that there is equal distribution of wealth to all youths regardless of their political affiliation,” said Chilikwazi, a former Patriotic Front Kapiri Mposhi district vice youth chairperson. “We would like to see youths from opposition parties benefiting from the Youth Empowerment Programme and job opportunities. That is the only way that would motivate young people to claim their rightful positions in the social, economic and political sectors and; ultimately make meaningful contribution to the nation.”