United Party for National Development (UPND) National Management Committee (NMC) member and Deputy Youth Chairperson Cindy Kauka has opposed the plan by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Arts to hold a National Youth Indaba.
Minister of Youth, Sports, and Arts Elvis Chishala Nkandu late last year disclosed that his Ministry had embarked on plans to hold a National Youth Indaba.
Mr. Nkandu, the Kaputa Member of Parliament, said the National Youth Indaba will aim at coming up with a road map on how best to address challenges facing the youth across the country.
In a statement issued on Friday, Ms. Kauka said the party youth leadership stands ready to support youth transformation programs by Government but warned the Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Arts against repeating what she termed as the same failed ways that the previous PF regime used.
She revealed that the UPND youth leadership is aware that the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Arts wants to invite 1500 youths for the indaba.
Ms. Kauka further questioned the criteria being used by the Ministry to select the 1500 youths.
She said the Ministry of Youths has turned itself into an implementation arm making the Youth Development Council irreverent.
“We have noted with concern the proposed policy direction from the Ministry of Youth and Sports on the empowerment of young people. We are advising the Ministry to engage key stakeholders such as the UPND youth leadership on how best to empower the youths,” Ms. Kauka said.
“We stand ready to support the transformation agenda of young people in the country but we shall not support the copy and paste of PF failed ways of doing things. We are aware that the Ministry of youths is planning to hold a youth indaba though we have not been engaged as stakeholders. We are strongly against the wastage of resources on meetings and workshops instead of channeling the resources to the actual empowerment programs of young people. We know the President is against this as well. So let the Minister engage us as youth leaders because if these empowerment plans fail it is the party that will be insulted” she said.
Ms. Kauka said UPND party youths have no intentions to interfere with Government operations but said that does not mean the party has no say in the Governance of the country.
“We are an interested party when it comes to youth empowerment programs because we have the largest following of young people, some who sacrificed their lives to have the change of government. We demand for transparency in the way things are being handled. So far we don’t know what criteria the Ministry is using to empower young people.”
She said funds to be used in hosting the National Youth Indaba should be channeled toward empowerment programmes.
“We don’t know what criteria were used to come up with 1500 youths that will attend the indaba. This is the New Dawn government and the ways of doing things must change. We have directors at the ministry of youths who openly campaigned for PF and are now trying to frustrate our youths and we demand for removal of such individuals” Ms. Kauka stated.
She concluded her media statement by pledging to support President Hakainde Hichilema’s leadership.
Ms. Kauka further wished President Hichilema God’s blessings.
She said:“We have been receiving messages of gratitude across the country for the work that President Hichilema is doing to develop the country. Our people are happy with free education and increased Constituency Development Funds (CDF). The people are also happy with the efforts President Hichilema is making to market our country on a global scale and as youth leaders we are behind our President and we wish him God’s blessings.”