Amid increasing and continuing dissatisfaction with President Lazarus Chakwera’s maiden cabinet appointments, the Youth Decide Campaign (YDC) has also poured out its own misgivings–expressing anger over what it describes as “violent and heartless” exclusion of youths from the cabinet.
Apparently, the inclusion in the cabinet of youthful politicians such as Ulemu Msungama, Timothy Mtambo and Sosten Gwengwe has hardly pacified YDC which notes that the three are actually way above 35 years.
According to YDC, the National Youth Policy defines the youths as those people in the age bracket of 10-35 years old.
Leaders of YDC–a consortium of five youth civil sociey organisations in Malawi championing the implementation of a national youth manifesto–addressed a press conference in the Capital Lilongwe where they made these sentiments.
“As it is, President Chakwera’s cabinet has zero youth representation. We rebuke the cabinet in its entirety.
“We also would like to remind the president that he is a signatory to the national youth manifesto and that he committed himself to include the youths in the development agenda of this country,” said Agatha Njunga from Network for Youth Development (NFYD)–a member of the YDC consortium.
Njunga was flanked by YDC team leader Charles Kajoloweka–who is also Executive Director of Mzuzu based human rights and governance watchdog, Youth and Society (YAS).
At the news conference, there was also the National Director of Young Politicians Union (YPU) Clement Makuwa and several other YDC leaders.
With approval from his fellow YDC leaders, Njunga continued stabbing at Chakwera’s cabinet, saying it undermines the development endeavors which are meant at uplifting the lives of the youths.
“The youths constitute over 70% of the population in this country. And many of these are capable to serve in various capacities.
“The exclusion of the youths from the cabinet sends a very wrong message. You can only hear the views of the youths when they are in positions of decision making at all levels.
“Involvement of the youths especially at high level sends a high signal on how every sector must respond to youth participation,” said Njunga.
She then called upon President Chakwera to appoint a new cabinet which she says must include some capable youths who must help push the agenda of thousands of other youths across the country in order to realize their aspirations.
Chakwera, 65, became Malawi’s 6th President after amassing 2 607 043 votes against immediate past president Peter Mutharika’s 1 751 877 votes in the June 23 2020 fresh presidential election.
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