Youths disrespected, sidelined

first_imgThe APNU/AFC coalition spent a significant amount of its political capital and resources targeting young people while campaigning in the 2015 election.Youths were promised the creation of thousands of jobs, better wage and salary packages, and improved rates of remuneration commensurate with their qualifications. They were told that under an APNU/AFC Govt, there would be a significant reduction in unemployment and youth crime, and the completion of a hallmark policy to tackle the other socio-economic issues that bedevil youth as a core group.The APNU/AFC politicians also promised youth they would ensure that they are well represented at every level of government, including the Executive, Legislature, and on all rights as well as constitutional commissions that would be established.Youths only needed to vote for the coalition, and campaign hard as well as passionately via all social media platforms to sway public opinion.Thousands of youths agreed, and were duped into supporting the coalition; while other were threatened, cowed and intimidated.Now in Govt, the APNU/AFC coalition has relegated the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport into a department of the Ministry of Education, and has reduced budgetary allocations for youth training empowerment programmes. It has reduced the number of youths appointed to cabinet; reduced the number of youths appointed as Government MPs; disbanded and replaced youth employment programmes which serviced hinterland communities; unfairly fired or removed scores of young professionals on the basis of their race or perceived political affiliation; imposed a 2:00am curfew; disrespected young people while reducing their influence and making them a rubber stamp; reduced funding to sportsmen and women for overseas trips and other sporting events, after reducing the Ministry of Sport to a department in the Ministry of Education.One year into its term, and the APNU/AFC Govt still cannot complete and deliver a National Youth Policy, which was already 90 per cent finished by the previous administration; and present a comprehensive plan for tackling youth unemployment and the creation of jobs.It has also failed to present a national sub-plan for fighting youth crime with the aim of reducing it significantly, and convene the National Youth Council to review and oversee the proper functioning of all youth programmes. This was promised within 100 days of government; yet, after 365 days, there has been nothing of the sort.Youths are awaiting the appointment of a young person to be part of the Constitutional Reform Committee, and they are awaiting creation of a Special Youth Fund (with a technical support unit and a mentorship programme), in collaboration with the Private Sector and other non-governmental organisations, to facilitate a smooth transition from classroom to workplace; reward initiative and innovation; and create, at the community level, resource centres where youths can access information, training, pursue recreation, and obtain advice and counselling on career and employment choices.Many politicians have failed lie detector tests performed on statements made by the APNU/AFC politicians after the elections.last_img