Malawi presidential candidates to sign declaration of commitments for youth

Malawi’s 12 presidential candidates for the May 20 Tripartite Elections will from today start signing the Declaration of 10 Commitments for children and youth in Malawi.

Under the theme: “Malawi’s Majority, Their Priority”, the signing of the declaration, which will take two days, will show the presidential candidates’ commitment towards youth empowerment once they go into government.

Peoples Transformation Party (PETRA) President, Kamuzu Chibambo, will be the first to sign followed by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) torchbearer, Dr Lazarous Chakwera and then Mark Katsonga of Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM).

In the afternoon, it will be the turn of George Mnensa who is leading the Tisintha Coalition, which consists of five small political parties and United Independent Party (UIP) of Hellen Singh. Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Peter Mutharika will be the last to put pen to paper.

Presidential candidates: From left to right – Joyce Banda, Peter Mutharika and Atupele Muluzi

Presidential candidates: From left to right – Joyce Banda, Peter Mutharika and Atupele Muluzi

On Friday, Davis Katsonga of Chipani cha Pfuko (CCP) will be the first to be followed by Atupele Muluzi (United Democratic Front), James Nyondo (National Salvation Front Party), Friday Jumbe (Labour Party), Prof John Chisi of Umodzi Party while President Joyce Banda will be the last.

In the declaration the youth will voice their priorities for the new leader who will be ushered in on May 20.

UNICEF, Malawi Human Rights Youth Network (MHRYN) and Timveni Children and Youth Media have over the last months been gathering the views and opinions of Malawian children and youth on issues imperative for the fulfillment of their needs and aspirations.

“Fortunately, the Tripartite Elections of May 2014 provide an opportunity for the prospective ledaers to commit to deliver results on selected pertinent issues identified by the children and youth of Malawi.

Among the predominant issues the children and youth of Malawi want their leaders to address include; youth unemployment, improved quality education and supporting children with disabilities to attend school and protection of the rights and realizing the potential of the girl child by increasing school completion of primary school, reducing violence against girls and child/early marriage.

They also want them to improve the life chances of the youngest in society in the crucial first days and weeks of life and halving the rate of chronic malnutrition in the country.

Meanwhile, the main organisers, Malawi Human Rights Youth Network, say everything is set and they expect a 100 percent attendance from the presidential candidates.

“They all responded to our invitation and confirmed their participation and we hope they will not disappoint us at last minute,” President of the network, Kingdom Kwapata, told Nyasa Times.

According to statistics, 60 percent of Malawi’s population is under the age of 24 which are youth and children constituting the majority of the country and are the hub of Malawi’s socio economic and political development.

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