300 youth to contest in May 2019 polls

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

Executive Director for Mzuzu Youth and Society (YAS) Charles Kajoloweka said this at Illala Lodge in Mzuzu on Tuesday during a meeting with media representatives 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.

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 and 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 totalling 54% of the total registered voters.

Kajoloweka has since 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), 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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