Parliament is disappointed with shoddy funding that continues to be allocated to youths in the country, saying it derails efforts or maximum support.
Social Welfare and Parliamentary Committee chairperson Richard Chimwendo, who represented the Speaker of National Assembly Richard Msowoya, said on Friday in the capital Lilongwe during the NGO Coalition on Child Rights (NGO CCR) stakeholders meeting that youths in the country were being sidelines.
For example, he said, in last year’s budget youths received a hefty K5.9 billion and yet out of that K5 billion went towards the construction of a stadium.
“What it means is that the Ministry was left with K900 million to carry out activities regarding the youths,” noted Chimwendo.
He said as parliamentarians, they were now drumming up support for the establishment of a Parliamentary Committee on Youths.
“We hope it will go a long in solving such problems,” he said.
He added: “Productivity of this country lies in youth investment. Their independent voice is vital and strategic to the development of this nation.”
Chimwendo said that much as there are programmes like Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDEF), the problem is that the programmes are not being run by the youths themselves.
“There is need for these programmes to be run by the youths themselves because they’ve a better understanding of their challenges,” he said.
He urged the National Youth Council to be proactive for a difference.
“The problem is that the youth council is not as proactive because they are the ones that are supposed to be championing these things I’m talking about so that parliament can just work on the legal aspects,” said Chimwendo.
In his remarks, NGO CCR chairperson Desmond Mhango said the meeting was aimed at making stock to find out why the youth parliament was not taking convening.
“It’s now two years since we had the last youth parliament, we’re also looking at whether whatever has been discussed in the previous sessions has been fed to the main parliament,” said Mhango.
Director of Children Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Disability and Social Welfare McKnight Kulanda said the youth parliament has not been meeting because of lack of resources.
“The problem is that the youth parliament started as a Unicef project and there was not proper strategy as to who would continue with it after donors pulled away,” said Kulanda.
Since 2002, Malawi held the Children’s Parliament annually as an institutionalized set up to provide a platform for children to voice out their concerns in order to influence the formation of policies and enactment of a variety of legislations.
But the efficiency and effectiveness of the parliament how impaired by absence of linkages with the main Malawi Parliament.
In line with the Action Plan of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and motivated by the Malawi Parliament 2010 – 2015 Strategic Plan, the Children’s Parliament metamorphosed into the Youth Parliament.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :