Politicians should leave youth and speak for themselves

Written by: 
John Blanshe Musinguzi

Since the popular February 28th Kyankwazi caucus that endorsed president Museveni as NRM’s sole candidate in 2016 presidential elections, there has been an upsurge in number of youth led movements advocating for interests of different politicians.  In the Kyankwazi caucus, Northern Youth MP Evelyn Anite moved the sole candidature motion. Though she is the caucus spokesperson, I believe a senior NRM cadre or bush war hero would have been better to do that work.

Not many days later, Adam Luzindana and co organised a press conference where they not only termed Kyankwazi resolution unconstitutional but also declared Mbabazi as their NRM flag bearer in the coming presidential elections. Luzindana is also a central figure in the Poor Youth Forum, a group which assembling support for former premier, though he is yet to publicly declare his wish to stand for presidency.

In a strange twist, last month, “Why Not Muhoozi ousting his father 2021” or Why Not Youth Pressure Group (WNPG) was launched. This group is campaigning for Muhoozi to take over power in 2021.  It organised a youth seminar at Makerere University last Friday where they had invited President Museveni as chief guest. However, Museveni delegated IGP Kale Kayihura to represent him. This group seem to be well off financially. I can’t guess who is financing it.  These are few highlights from what is transpiring around the world of youth led politics.

In my view, these youth are speaking for giant political figures. It is my humble appeal to the political figures that these youth speak for, come out and articulate their ambitions for themselves. They should further clear the air if they are not behind scene actors funding youth to speak for them. They should also divert these youth to substantive issues such as development activities.

 Any politician raising a noble cause will not shy away from publicly fronting their thoughts and suggestions. In the end, they take the credit for these thoughts.

Politician can further engage youth in governance issues by training and even giving them space to take over political and business leadership. It is through trial and error rather than theoretical lectures that youth can be nurtured into successful leaders.

 To fellow youth, we can organise ourselves to challenge politicians who have decided to cling to offices than accepting to be used as political campaigners. Remember many elders are not interested in listening to our ideas or even funding our programmes. Let us fight our battles.

We can engage in activities that will generate employment opportunities for fellow youth since we are the group feeling labour market disastrous unemployment outcomes. We are willing and ready to work but can’t find jobs. Let us create associations to fight for our rights to be employed in the labour market.

We must look beyond associations such the Jobless Brotherhood and National Association of the Unemployed (NAU). Yes, we are unemployed and everybody recognise it.  Let’s exploit employment opportunities in the agricultural sector, enter business ventures for our benefit.

Politicians, give us a second to breathe in. Youth, let us breathe out for ourselves.

The author is an undergraduate Journalism and Communication student at Makerere University

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