By Salome Gangire, Mana
Youth Decide Campaign, a youth group which champions National Youth Manifesto, has asked President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera to have a 10 percent youth inclusion in his cabinet and other key positions in parastatal organisations.
Addressing the media in Mzuzu on Thursday, Youth Decide Campaign Team Leader, Charles Kajoloweka said the group wants government to consider including into cabinet, embassies and parastatal organisations capable youths aged 35 and below.
He said the grouping wants Chakwera to appoint a person below the age of 35 as a youth minister as well as an advisor to the president on the youth affairs respectively within 100 days.
“When we talk of a youth, we don’t mean a youthful person but a person who is under the age of 35 as defined in the National Youth Policy,” said Kajoloweka.
He said the president during inauguration of new ministers few days ago committed to have 40 percent of women representation in the cabinet but was mum on youth representation.
“We want the president to come out clear on the status of young people in the cabinet and other government machineries.
“This is the Tonse Alliance led government and Tonse should include young people in running the affairs of the country,” he said.
He said the country has capable young people who can contribute towards the development of the country and advised government against appointing party zealots into public positions for the sake of appeasement.
Director of Young Politicians Union, Clement Makuwa said the campaign is pleased with government’s move to recapitalize Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (MEDF).
“Government has committed K40 billion for MEDF in the current provisional budget to facilitate youth’s access to loans but this allocation should be put on hold now until MEDF accounts for the previous allocation of K15 billion,” Makuwa said.
He said the grouping commends government for the initiative but advised it against to pumping money into a leaking bucket.
Makuwa added that government should also audit and review all youth programs under implementation such as Jobs for Youth and Youth Afforestation Program among others before embarking on new ones.
The Youth Decide Campaign is a national initiative championed by a consortium of youth non-governmental organizations which include Network for Youth Development, Youth and Society and Young Politicians Union.