Home Columns Government’s Plan’s Plan to Recruit Street Kids into ZNS likely to fail...

Government’s Plan’s Plan to Recruit Street Kids into ZNS likely to fail and create bandits

20
3,732 views
Peter Sinkamba

GOVERNMENT PLANS TO RECRUIT STREET KIDS FOR SKILLS-TRAINING UNDER ZAMBIA NATIONAL SERVICE (ZNS) BOUND TO FAIL AND LIKELY TO INCREASE ARMED BANDITS

Minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development Moses Mawere is reported in Sunday Times of January 29, 2017 to have said Government plans to recruit street kids above 18 years to be taught life skills under Zambian National Service (ZNS). The Minister informed the nation that government’s intention was to create a platform under ZNS to teach street-kids in skills such as plumbing, tailoring, mechanics, carpentry and other relevant courses so that they become self-reliant.

As the Green Party, we believe it is delusional for government to think that street-kids can become “self-reliant” through such a programme. If anything, we believe the programme is likely to backfire in that it may give rise to armed banditry in the country.
It goes without saying that before the streets kids receive training in the so-called life skills, it will be imperative that they undergo basic military training so as to orient them to military discipline. Knowing the notorious character of street kids, if such persons are off-loaded back onto streets after receiving military training, in the event of capital provided getting squandered (if start-up capital will be provided as part of package), then we should expect them resorting to armed banditry.

While we applaud the desire by Government to groom the street-kids into responsible citizens, our advice is that the street kids should be recruited and employed on full-time- pensionable basis so that they are kept off the streets permanently. Furthermore, the programme should not only be restricted to street kids but extended all other unemployed youths who voluntarily wish to join the programme. In addition, the programme should be oriented towards production of high-value crops on large-scale basis rather than plumbing, mechanics, brick-laying, carpentry and others. These skills should only be complimentary trades in the big picture of high-value agriculture.

Government should draw lessons from previous programmes of street-kids recruitment under ZNS. Under the UNIP Government, street-kids were recruited under ZNS and deployed to Kambilombilo on the Copperbelt and Kanakantampa in Lusaka, now Chongwe. That programme was successful except that the type of agriculture that they ventured into (maize), is a low value crop which does not yield reasonable profit. Maize is a high-labour low value crop which by and large has impoverished small-scale farmers in rural areas.

Life-skills training programmes by successive governments conducted at ZNS Kitwe Skills Centre have all been disastrous. It will therefore be folly and a waste of public resources for Government to go back to failed programmes. Such a programme may compromise State Security in the long-run.

Peter Sinkamba
President
Green Party of Zambia

20 COMMENTS

  1. Nkope Shinyenga
    Manje imwe ba Sinkamba, all you want is to send these kids into growing mbanje chabe? Awe please join in, enter Politics together with ba PF and fight from within. All you're doing is being critical to everything and everyone suggesting something yet, with no solutions in sight.
  2. MyZambia
    Good ideas Mr Sinkamba. They can take it further by giving land to these kids that they train in farming. Give them land and offer letters for 3 years. If, after 3 years, they are consistently productive, then give them title deeds and let them continue farming.
  3. NEZ (new educated Zambia UPND ) BEST BLOGGER 2016.
    They have failed to ensure universal free education and jobs for the youth so now the pf want to create a youth militia. Very disturbing development. Lungu must go
  4. Ben
    Giving them military training will be a big mistake.The idea of introducing them to agricultural skills will be the best and that too should well monitored if it will have to succeed.
  5. LIE - DETECTOR
    Nothing wrong with teaching these kids skills such as plumbing, tailoring, mechanics, carpentry etc. As long as you then help them either start businesses when they graduate, or help them find jobs. The completely illiterate ones should be given some basic education in Math, English, and other subjects. The ones with the ability to read and write can be taught some basic computer skills. But if you don't offer them job opportunities, or the means for them to start their own businesses, it would have been wasted effort. The ones that you send to work on farms, you have to make sure they're not being used as slave labor. In fact they should go to work on these farms voluntarily, of course with good working conditions. Military training (ZNS style) is completely unnecessary and...
  6. LIE - DETECTOR
    (Continued)... counterproductive, and will most likely just lead to the creation of more dangerous criminals. Lastly, too many street kids is a sign of an ineffective government. If the economy is lousy, unemployment is high, schools are unaffordable, it gives birth to street kids, as parents cannot manage to take care of their children since they have no jobs or any income do so. Thus the kids get abandoned by their parents or guardians , or they just run away from home to try and survive on the streets. So PF fix the economy, and create jobs.
  7. KK Airport Cabinet
    Sinkamba Sinkamba Sinkamba. These street kids are better off in a NSC camp and are not supposed to be begging on the streets. so who does your weed party expect to use to grow your weed?
  8. Zambia in the Sun
    “programme should be oriented towards production of high-value crops on large-scale basis rather than plumbing, mechanics, brick-laying, carpentry and others. These skills should only be complimentary trades in the big picture of high-value agriculture." Good advice
  9. Zambia in the Sun
    “Government should draw lessons from previous programmes of street-kids recruitment under ZNS. Under the UNIP Government, street-kids were recruited under ZNS and deployed to Kambilombilo on the Copperbelt and Kanakantampa in Lusaka, now Chongwe. That programme was successful except that the type of agriculture that they ventured into (maize), is a low value crop which does not yield reasonable profit. Maize is a high-labour low value crop which by and large has impoverished small-scale farmers in rural areas." Brilliant advise
  10. Zambia in the Sun
    "Life-skills training programmes by successive governments conducted at ZNS Kitwe Skills Centre have all been disastrous. It will therefore be folly and a waste of public resources for Government to go back to failed programmes. Such a programme may compromise State Security in the long-run." Meticulous advice!
  11. Timbwi
    This man speaks sense though his argument is not so far from challenging his ideology of ganja production which would result into the same effects he is highlighting. Send those street kids into cultivation of cash crops after imparting them with agricultural skills.
  12. Dr. Makasa Kasonde (Private Citizen)
    Skills training in any form and shape is good news. It offers practical training in entrepreneurship or employment seeking techniques. Instead of just waiting for nothing, it is better to engage in skills training. Instead of just selling talk time and the like, offer skills training starting from below. The sky is the limit. However, the formula must be redefined. It may involve sponsorship and bursaries to public and private providers. ZNS can also compete but ZNS must not be allowed to monopolize skills training of youth in distress situations.
  13. VOR
    Good morning fellow citizens, All classes of street people..adults inclusive, harlots, lunatics etc, should be attended to. Psycological reformation with a spiritual touch (reform) and motivation and reform from substance abuse coupled with dealing with their health too. This is a project which calls for an inquiry for long term solutions and workable. Observations made here by other bloggers are valid and not to be ignored. Instead of condemning, stable holder engagement may well help government whose Minister has a good will to deal with the matter. If he chose would have just announced implementation. Lets exhaust avenues available taking a life how many other countries have managed the same. Additionally, Parents for these kids who most of them now are adults and a big...
  14. Zambia in the Sun
    This man is not against training. Rather, he is against training and dumping on the street. He argues that this assumption is wrong as it will breed banditry. He proposes permanent employment by ZNS and broader approach to cover other youths. I quote his argument below: "While we applaud the desire by Government to groom the street-kids into responsible citizens, our advice is that the street kids should be recruited and employed on full-time- pensionable basis so that they are kept off the streets permanently. Furthermore, the programme should not only be restricted to street kids but extended all other unemployed youths who voluntarily wish to join the programme."
  15. TRUE ZAMBIAN
    Sinkamba is right. We already have enough bandits in Zambia Police, Zambia Army, ZNS, etc robbing people in the night using state uniforms & guns. What skills are they going to learn without education. If PF & MMD pact govt is serious, should enroll these kids in schools first, acquire Grade 12, then sponsor them in public & private universities & colleges. Excuses of lack of vacancies does not hold water because there are so many private institutions with capacity. Just issue tenders to private institutions without students to absorb these kids & sponsor them. Why should you dump people without capacity to learn with ZNS & expect ZNS to perform with such graduates. ZNS will just sink like ZESCO, ZAMTEL, National Housing Authority, etc
  16. Ndanje khakis
    National Service is not about handling guns, it's a skills training school. Just visit the camp at Malembeka in Kitwe and you'll see what I am referring.

Comments are closed.