YALI says the Socialist Party appears to be leading the way where genuine commitment to bringing the youth to the decision-making table is concerned.
The Socialist Party has announced Rehoboth Kafwabulula as the party’s national spokesperson.
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) president Andrew Ntewewe said other political parties must emulate what the Socialist Party had done.
“YALI firmly believes that political parties must show a genuine commitment to bringing the youth to the decision-making table and the Socialist Party appears to be leading the way,” Ntewewe said in a statement yesterday. “The Zambian youth has spoken, loud and clear, that time has come for them to be represented in law-making processes and decision-making on the affairs of their country.”
Ntewewe stated that it was YALI’s hope that political parties like the PF and the Socialist Party would participate and adopt more youths in the forthcoming 11 ward by-elections and 2021 general elections.
He added that what stood between the youths and their quest for a fair and guaranteed representation in Parliament in 2021 was the opposition UPND who are: “opposed to a mixed member representation in Parliament.”
Ntewewe stated that the capitalist-gatekeepers and members of parliament in the UPND would not relent but fight a system that should ordinarily make youth representation a reality, through enactment of the proposed Article 47(2).
“The proposed Article 47(2) facilitates the changing of an electoral system to one that promotes fair representation and equitable treatment of each gender as required by Article 45(1)(c)(d) of the Constitution. We know, however, that unlike parties that are socialist in nature, capitalism is not about fairness,” Ntewewe stated.
“The mixed member electoral system is meant to provide for safer seats for youths in the National Assembly, including those from UPND.”
He noted that Zambian youths must not be surprised that the UPND did not support the changing of the country’s electoral system to one that would support a mixed-member representation in Parliament.
“For UPND, only those leaders with capital to fund their campaigns will dominate [and] are preferred as best representatives of the people in the National Assembly,” Ntewewe stated.
“YALI encourages the youth such as Rehoboth to exert their influence and become good champions of youth leadership and representation.”
He further stated that YALI believed Zambia’s developmental trajectory was dependent on bringing the youth, women and persons with disabilities to the decision-making table, rather than using them as a springboard to achieving one’s political ambition.
“The youth deserve a place on decision-making platforms,” stated Ntewewe.