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300 youths to contest in Malawi’s 2019 polls


By Patricia Mtungila-MEC Stringer

About 300 youth aspirants are expected to contest in the 2019 Tripartite Elections, in what activists are describing as  youth-dominated Elections.

This is according a None Governmental Organisation in Mzuzu  Youth  and Society (YAS).

Executive Director for YAS Charles Kajoloweka said this  at Illala Lodge in  Mzuzu on Tuesday during a  meeting  with media representatives in Mzuzu under the umbrella body Nyika Media Club aimed at garnering media  support for the Youth Decide 2019 Campaign (YD-2019)  .

“We are excited to have  more young people vying for political positions at Local Government level and  Parliamentary level. Our anticipation is that we are going to have not less than 300 young people vying for political positions come 21 May, 2019,” said Kajoloweka.

Kajoloweka explained that the engagement  with Nyika Media Club was organized to  draw media support for the (YD-2019)  Campaign in light of the vital role  played by media of  promoting  democracy and  peaceful elections.

“We have already seen how crucial media has been in the entire electoral process. So, media will be crucial in promoting the advancement of the Youth Decide Campaign,” Kajoloweka said.

And President of Nyika Media Club, a grouping of media personnel in Northern Region,  Mandy Pondani called for electoral stakeholders to establish sustainable, long-term  relationships with the media body in order to empower journalists to effectively participate in promoting the emerging  youth development agenda.

The media Leader  also urged journalists to abide by journalism principles of objectivity and truth in their coverage of the Elections.

“ What is expected of reporters is  responsible journalism. We don’t have to write stories that can incite violence, let’s be as objective as possible, let’s verify facts. A simple mistake has the capability of destroying  the future of this nation because of one case of careless reporting,” said Pondani.

Preliminary voter registration results from Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) indicate that the majority of  eligible voters in next year’s  Elections are  youth  totaling 54%  of the total registered voters.

Kajoloweka has asked the media in Malawi to partner with the Youth Decide Campaign to ensure that 90% of the eligible young voters cast their votes for other young people in the Elections.

YAS is leading the nationwide (YD-2019)  in   a consortium of  other NGOs;  Network for Youth  Development  (NfYD) , and Youth Politicians Union and  Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO).

Among other issues; the YD-2019 Campaign  is aimed at mobilizing youth to  speak out and push for  the formulation of youth-friendly policy  at political party and Government levels.   According to Kajoloweka, a  policy document known as  the Youth Manifesto will be developed  after nationwide consultations   in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the Youth Manifesto is expected  to inform the formulation of policies that favour youth in the manifestos of political parties in the Country   that will contest in the 2019 Tripartite Elections in order to  enable the youth to demand accountability from Government that will be formed after 21 May, 2019.



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