By JOHN SAKALA
Democratic Party President Harry Kalaba says March 12 is a special day which should inspire youths to believe again.
Speaking in a Youth Day media statement, Mr Kalaba said DP takes pride in the tremendous contributions of the young men and women to the political sphere of our beloved country.
He said the collective endeavor of the youth played a very significant role in the attainment of our independence.
“Today, we take our hats off to a group of youth, men and women with the greatest potential to change the socio-economic trajectory of our country. Their selfless love for mother Zambia, and for you and I, made them undergo tremendous sacrifices in the struggle for independence so that you and I and the generations to come can live in a Zambia as free, proud and productive citizens with self-governance and respect of human rights for all.
“Today I see a youth full of innovation, but this innovation is not harnessed. Today I see a youth with significant entrepreneurial skills, but the environment is not enabling him or her to be a private sector participant. Today I see a youth scientist and technologist returning home from abroad, but the government has no plans to enhance the diminishing science base and industry for technology transfer.
Today I see a differently gifted youth yearning for skills, but the government has no plans for such youth,” he said.
Mr Kalaba said on Youth Day, he appreciates that in 2019, Zambia has a youth population that is far more educated than ever before.
He said Zambia has a youth population far greater in numbers with collective zeal and energy which, when well harnessed, can place Zambia on a global development path yielding economic dividends.
“On this day, I lament the fact that as educated as the youth are, the current government has put the youths’ certificates and degrees under lockdown. This government has simply failed to find the golden key to unlock Zambia’s socio-economic potential and job creation for the youth. Zambia has created a desolate and desperate youth. A few desperate youth are being exploited by politicians as tools of political violence and insults for political expediency, especially by the ruling party. These youths have been used to define politics as a dirty and dangerous field, hence perpetuating fear in those who have a positive agenda for genuine change engendering youth development.
“To the youth, I say good always triumphs. The youth with a positive disposition and agenda for Zambia are much more than the disguise violent political misfits masquerading as political cadres.
I ask the Youth to believe again. You and I will turn the status quo with the wheel of change.
You and I will work together to create the Zambia we want. The Democratic Party values the contributions of the youth and hence created space for youth leadership in politics.
The DP further advocates for smart and violence free politics in order to promote universal enfranchisement and participation in politics,” he said.
Mr Kalaba said DP believes that Zambia can have its equal share of demographic dividend if we invested in quality tertiary education with universal access for all regardless of family background and economic status.
He said DP equally believes in stratification of educational loan schemes comprising tuition, lodging and meals to enable access to tertiary education for all and without leaving anyone behind.