YouthDecide 2019 takes youth manifesto to Chitipa, Rumphi

YouthDecide 2019, a campaign whose chief aim is to make sure the interests of the youth are incorporated in politicians’ and political parties manifestos prior and after the forthcoming May 21 tripartite polls, has launched a deliberate strategy to make sure that it reaches out to as many youths as possible across the country.

Magelegele addressing a youth rally

The youth manifesto document was launched early this year at Crossroads Hotel in the capital Lilongwe, and some of its critical points in the document include calling for the abolishment of the quota system, increase selection of students to institutions of higher learning by 25 percent in the first year of the would-be government and the maximum protection of persons with albinism.

According to YouthDecide campaign national coordinator, Daliso Magelegele, they made all presidential candidates sign the document so they could be held accountable should they fail to live up to their promises.

Said Magelegele: “The document will act as evidence on our part, and it will be easy for us to take them to task. Politicians have taken us, the youths, for granted because we have not been serious with them.

“Therefore, we want the youths themselves, who are the biggest chunk of the population, to take a leading role in holding these politicians responsible. It will be up to them to them to decide how to deal with them.”

In Chitipa and Rumphi, where hundreds attended the launches, there was great excitement about the idea of the youth manifesto not just amongst the youth but also the elderly.

“I was just moving like a passerby but when I heard the message from the speakers, I decided to stop and listen. Because I have children who are in their twenties who are uncertain of their futures.

“They are not here, but once I get home, I will make sure they hear the message this campaign is propagating. They are actually victims of the quota system, and I am sure they will support the campaign,” said Julius Msowoya, 64.

And, speaking to crowds that gathered at Rumphi Boma, Magelegele wooed the youths to be proactive in deciding their fates.

“It is our Malawi, and we should not just–as youths–be used as perpetrators of violence by politicians. Let us stand up and decide our futures. Let us decide what kind of Malawi we want to live in,” he said.

Former chairperson of the Chitipa Civil Society Network, Sydney Simwaka, hailed YouthDecide for the initiative saying it is timely.

“At the peak of the electoral period right now, it is imperative that YouthDecide is engaging the youths constructively. And, I am happy they are seriously condemning violence strongly,” said Simwaka.

According to Magelegele, they are set to launch the youth manifesto to several other districts in the country before the May 21 polls.

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