The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has hailed the appointment of Rehoboth Kafwabulula, a 21-year-old youth, as Socialist Party spokesperson.
YALI President Andrew Ntewewe who affirmed his organisation’s belief that political parties must show a genuine commitment to bringing the youth to the decision-making table said the Socialist Party appear to be leading the way.
“Our country’s national development trajectory is dependent on bringing the youth, women and persons with disabilities to the decision-making table rather than using them as a springboard to achieve one’s political ambition,” he said
Meanwhile, Mr Ntewewe has said opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) is an organisation that stands in the way for the youth to have fair and guaranteed representation in Parliament in 2021 through its its opposition to a mixed member representation system.
“The capitalist-gatekeepers and MPs in the UPND will not relent but fight a system that should ordinarily make youth representation a reality through enactment of the proposed Article 47(2),” said Ntewewe.
Mr Ntewewe said the proposed Article 47(2) facilitates the changing of an electoral system to one that promotes fair representation and equitable treatment of each gender as required by Article 45(1)(c)(d) of the Constitution.
“We know, however, that unlike parties that are socialists in nature, capitalism is not about fairness. For UPND, only those leaders with capital to fund their campaigns will dominate are preferred as best representatives of the people in the National Assembly,” charged Ntewewe.
The proposed amendments to the Constitution of Zambia proposes to introduce a mixed member electoral system meant to provide for safer seats for youths in the National Assembly, including those from UPND.
Mr Ntewewe said the Zambian youth has spoken, loud and clear, that time has come for them to be represented in law-making processes and decision-making on the affairs of their country.
“Our hope is that parties such as the Patriotic Front (PF) and Socialist Party will participate and adopt more youths in the forthcoming 11 ward by-elections and 2021 general election,” said Ntewewe.
He said the Zambian youth must not be surprised that UPND does not support the changing of Zambia’s electoral system to one that would support a mixed-member representation in Parliament.
The organisation has since encouraged Rehoboth to exert her influence and become good champions of youth leadership and representation stating that youth deserve a place on decision-making platforms.