(By Edwin Mbulo and Charles Tembo)
SOUTHERN Province UPND deputy information secretary Neto Halwabala says taking Livingstone youths to commemorate Youth Day at World War 1 cenotaph is a signal that they are dead under PF.
Commenting on the celebrations of the Youth Day which was for the first time held at the World War 1 cenotaph in the Livingstone police camp, Halwabala said the PF had failed to address youth unemployment in Zambia.
He said it was a shame to parade youths before war memorial cairn instead of directly addressing their concerns.
“The PF was scared that the youths wanted to speak out and vent their anger at the high levels of unemployment. That is why they did not want to address their concerns and decided to take the
celebrations to a war memorial. They literary took the youths to a graveyard for celebrations. This is sad. But it is a sign to the youths that they are dead under the PF,” he said.
“The only hope that they have now lies in 2021 and they should turn out in numbers and register as voters when that exercise is commences so that they can show the PF their true colours. Youths need to be vibrant and decisive in their decisions or they will eternally be buried under the PF boat without any food or jobs. The only hope
they have is Hakainde Hichilema and his youthful team of UPND,” Halwabala said.
At the Word War I cenotaph near the Livingstone Correctional facility (prison), Zambia Air Force Chaplain Reverend Isaac Chipapala urged the youths to use their unique characters to
He told the youths to reflect on God and not imitate other people.
“You are an embodiment of unique qualities and features that can make you achieve the unachievable,” Rev Chipapala said.
The ceremony was attended by acting Livingstone district commissioner Harriet Kawina, town clerk Gertrude Chibiliti and several high ranking
government and security officials.
Meanwhile, NDC national youth chairman Charles Kabwita has demanded that the PF government fulfill its promises of creating 500,000 jobs it made in the run up to 2015 and 2016 election campaigns.
And Kabwita says young people should unite to fight for economic freedom.
Although the government failed to deliver on the promised 500,000 jobs, President Edgar Lungu went ahead to give another promise of one million jobs for the country’s youths.
In his message to celebrate youth day, which falls today, Kabwita noted that there was no need for youths to fight one another.
“The sons and daughters of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, are delighted to commemorate the 2019 International Youth Day. Today is an opportunity to celebrate together with our brothers and sisters in the Patriotic Front, PF, and other opposition political parties in our country. We say so because parents of 1950 did not encourage their children to fight one another, the young people of the 1950s came together and achieved our independence in 1964. Today´s generation of youths is the largest in our country. Yet too often, across the nation, the opportunities for young people to engage politically, economically and socially are limited. I call on young people to demand for their share and to resist any attempts by their political leaders to engage them into political violence,” Kabwita said.
“We must unite and fight for our economic freedom, emancipation from corruption and poverty, among others. We must never allow anyone to use us as tools of political violence. Let us learn from our forefathers, and ensure that we are free from economic hardship. Two out of three young people in our country are without work, not studying, or engaged in irregular or informal employment. The PF government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, must be committed to address youth unemployment through the Youth Employment Programme, and avoid politicising empowerment programmes to ensure young people’s entry into the labour market, build their capacities and connect them with better working opportunities.”
Kabwita noted that young people were a reservoiur of talent.
“Young people are an untapped reservoiur of talent and it is essential to give them the right tools to express their opinions and unlock their potential. The NDC in government…will depoliticise youth empowerment and create equal opportunities to every young person regardless of one’s political affiliation. On this day, I call upon the Minister of Youth and Sports to eliminate all the barriers young people face, to access youth empowerment and scholarships,” said Kabwita.