Youth organisation faults CSOs for cancelling vigil

By Judith Moyo, Nyasa Times

The Youth Association for Democracy (YADEMA) has faulted civil society organizations for canceling the August 17 anti government vigil.

YADEMA in a statement issued by its interim chairperson, Lilongwe-based lawyer Wapona Kitta says the cancellation has taken away the legitimate expectation which was created in its membership that they would assemble and hold a vigil.

The organisation has since the organizers of the vigil to fix another date, not more than 30 days, for such an assembly.

“As YADEMA, we see this as a lost opportunity where we could have shown the nation that it is possible for the youth to organize themselves in such a way as to peacefully participate in an assembly or demonstration,” reads a statement from the group dated August 17 2011.

Kitta: Organise new vigil dates

“We thus call upon the organizers that as the dialogue is going on, they should fix an ultimatum date not more than 30 days from the 17th of August 2011 when either the assembly or demonstrations shall be held again, and the membership of YADEMA is committed to meaningfully participate in the processes and ready to work with the other civil society organizations to achieve the same goal,” adds the statement.

YADEMA argues that the intervention of the United Nations in dialogue could go on while people held the vigil.

“There was no indication that if the vigil proceeded, dialogue would not take place,” the statement reads.

YADEMA also criticized the composition of the Presidential Committee on Contact and Dialogue Group that it lacks youth representation, adequate gender representation and technocrats who are responsible for the economic and governance woes the country is facing.

“For instance, the Minister of Finance to tackle forex  and tax issues, Energy to tackle fuel and electricity issues, Justice to tackle bad legislation issues including the repeal of the injunction bill/law, and Education to tackle the standoff on academic freedom issues.

“Indeed, the President himself should be part of this group because some of the issues raised by the 20th July, 2011 petition cannot be addressed by anybody other than the President himself. For instance, it is only the President who can respond on improving the relationship between the Vice President and himself. So too about the first lady receiving a salary for doing charity work,” reads the statement.

Kitta says YADEMA is a non government organization founded by a cross-section of the youth to promote the ideals, principles and the political philosophy of democracy as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.

The organisation aims at reaching out to all the youths in Malawi in order to empower them with knowledge, skills and ability to meaningfully take part in the democratization process.

Membership is open to all Malawian youths aged between 16 and 47 years without regard to political, tribal or gender affiliation.

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