BOB SICHINGA’S STATEMENT REFLECTS GOVERNMENT’S MENTALITY ON YOUTH JOBS
The PF Government has responded to our calls for youth jobs demands as we build up to the youth day with yet another careless and irresponsible statement by Minister responsible for Trade and Industry Mr. Bob Sichinga. It is very sad that Bob has had to subject himself to such mediocrity and seems to be enjoying it.
We wish to put it on record that the Red Card Campaign on Youth Job, as an initiative under the Open Society Foundation on behalf of the youths of Zambia, has resolved to open its official launch on Monday with a minute of silence over the injustice that Government has rewarded the youth vote with. It is a clear testimony from Sichinga’s remarks that it is ‘not yet Uhuru’ for the youth of Zambia, may be, we still have to wait for another revolution of committed and dedicated leaders.
Mr. Sichinga has demonstrated that the PF Government’s promise to create jobs for the nation’s youth was an act of deceit and they must be taken to task over it. We do not need to labour to understand why Sichinga could not say what he is saying today before the 20th September 2011 elections? Sichinga’s statement is an insult to the suffering masses of our youths across the country and we will campaign for his exit from Government for being such a misrepresentation. We are at pains to imagine how Mr. Sichinga expects the youth of Zambia to employ themselves in the absence of an enabling environment which provides them with the necessary tools in the form of working capital. He has failed to appreciate the challenges in the labour market and the millions of human resource being wasted.
The Open Society Foundation expected Government to take advantage of the youth week to demonstrate robust plans on how it intends to push back the frontiers of poverty from our midst, create more jobs and lower taxes. The Government is supposed to have summoned a youth employment summit during this youth week to involve all stakeholders dealing with youth to devise strategies for reversing the rising levels of unemployment and youth poverty. This is what we expect the Government to be discussing but they are not doing it. The Youth of Zambia have been given a blank cheque and we understand the challenges faced by those who seek to dilute our message by calling us names. We shall continue to put up a spirited fight against any injustice unleashed on youths.
We are challenging the Government of Zambia to create the jobs it promised because it was on that premise that they are in Government today. Are we asking for too much if we ask them to design a workable plan which the general public should make input to?
Sunday Chilufya Chanda
Open Society Foundation