I want to comment on the idiom making rounds in the media made by President Lungu. With specific reference to youths, footsoldiers and political cadres. As a youth I am happy with the admission by the President that indeed ‘ubomba mwibala alya mwibala or he that works in the field feeds from it.’ I received the message like many youths with a sigh of relief.
The question then arises, which one is your field? For us young people who are in politics our field is politics, so the President is telling us that we are also expected to feed and survive off politics. WHAT A GREAT MESSAGE AND EYE OPENER TO US THE YOUTHS, that have been used a great deal by politicians when its convenient for them during elections. Instead of getting disappointed with the President we are supposed to be asking honest questions. This is a message to all the youths in politics regardless of which party you are in be it PF, MMD, UPND, FDD, UNIP, PAC etc because we are all Zambians and we ought to benefit.
If truly Ubomba Mwibala Alya Mwibala, then who is eating the share belonging to suffering youths so called cadres? Was that an admission by the President that perhaps there are some greedy leaders eating the harvest including the seed belonging to the youths? Where is the empowerment they were promised during campaigns? Mr President we are not civil servants and our field is politics and therefore we cant see what you meant, perhaps we expect more action to accompany your words.
All politicians opposition or ruling must know that it is unacceptable to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all. We must desist from greed, selfishness, nepotism and self righteousness. This will result in widespread poverty and suffering among our people leading to hopelessness. Most of our youths are unemployed and are abusing drugs which is a sad fact. The Government should open their eyes. Youths have done enough donkey works, its time they were rewarded.
Mr President today’s reality is a polity where Zambian youths are used as election consultants, social media battalions, and political thugs. And this can only be blamed on the conspiracy of the elite class who just cannot stand the idea of vacating the scene for the younger generation creating a system that makes it impossible for young people to emerge and succeed in politics and governance.
It’s high time politicians in Africa, especially in Zambia realize that political power is a veritable instrument in social engineering and therefore they must use it wisely to better the life of their subjects. Our political leaders should dare to make a positive difference that will precede their existence.
To us the youths, we must realize that having different parties with different agenda, issues and beliefs must not lead to division among ourselves. It is dirty politics, and sadly its being used to disadvantage us from seeing the bigger picture. Regionalism or factionalism among our people, which self serving political leaders are exploiting to serve their agenda, is one reason behind our division as youths. Youths must associate themselves with true leaders who will inspire us to get past our indifferences.
In our politics today, we encounter people who are angry, deceitful, intent only on satisfying their own needs. There is so much anger, distrust, greed, and pettiness that we are losing our capacity to work well together as youths.
Greed, selfish ambition, lack of capacity and “over-competition” have conspired to weaken the ability of Zambian youths to collaborate effectively as a united front that advances the well-being of young Zambians.
My advise to us youths, is we must desist from the selfishness. The idea that you must have everything for yourself alone and others can go to hell is a predominant characteristic of us young people today. We insult politicians on social media one moment and the next moment approach these same politicians with a cap in the hand. The mentality of every man for himself, the idea that you must demonize and destroy other youths as long as it guarantees you a spot at the top. All these must stop.
Unfortunately there is a disturbing trend, the rising wave of intolerance to dissenting viewpoints and ideologies. Come on social media platforms and see what us young people are doing to ourselves in the name of politics and the superiority contest to establish who holds the best opinion. This is why we the young people are failing to organize ourselves effectively into a powerful bloc of change makers who can inspire true leadership beyond exploits in business and the creative industries.
We must wake up and face the reality that our votes on election day gives us enough power as youths. It is a necessary first step. Enough of this politics of ‘PF’ versus ‘UPND’ that has turned young Zambians who were once friends into public enemies. This is the only way we can begin to win and change Zambia together.
To the PF its time they conducted a self introspection as a party about how they are treating youths, cadres and footsoldiers because time is coming when they will soon be needed. And they will ask them question Ubomba Mwibala Alya Mwibala? To us the opposition parties does it mean empowering the youths, cadres and foot soldiers will only happen if we form government, NO! What about all those seats for MPs, Councillors we are occupying as parties, are they being helpful to the youths?
To the media I appreciate there not being a pay wall: it is more democratic for the media to be available for all and not a commodity to be purchased by a few. I’m happy to make a contribution so other youths with less means still have access to this information.
Would like to take this opportunity to lobby from the Head of State to help empower youths who are vending despite having necessary qualifications to build MEGA Enterprises and Employers. The time to put confidence in youths cannot be better than now and hence we demand that even youths in rural Zambia such as Peasant Farmers, Fishermen, Bricklayers and BrickMakers be considered. The Head of State should also consider empowering youths with TITLED LAND especially those seeking to engage in Farming. So that the cost of doing business becomes less so as to give youths a better competing ground with other foreign companies and withstand market forces. Government must not wait for youths to apply, it’s their duty to identify youths and create an enabling environment.
There’s a need to ensure that the empowerment plan benefits all youths regardless of their political affiliation. We should learn lesson from other countries like South Africa and Nigeria who have invested in youths above partisan loyalty. We would love to see that the board of directors have politics-free qualifications and the need to monitor the distribution of funds so that everyone benefits.
There are a number of things that require urgent attention, the Minister for youth must quickly consider disbanding or dissolving the youth empowerment fund board or committee because up to now little to nothing is really visibly coming out. The offices of our leaders the Members of Parliament, The Ministers are closed and only but a few are receptive to us the youths.
Mr President I fear for a time when youths will no longer consider the election cycle as a source of hope but a meaningless process to sustain, maintain and legitimize the status quo.
We can no longer apply cosmetic solutions to the issue of youth unemployment, this is a great time bomb. These chains of bondage are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. And as youths, until we redefine our understanding about politics and participate either by standing or in the selection of who qualifies to be there and who must be there and where, our story will never change for good.