His desire is to develop and facelift Likoma and Chizumulu Islands by introducing himself as the youngest person from the two Islands to contest in the country’s tripartite elections and become a young leader for his communities.
The dreams of 30-year-old Earnest Msokosela Gulu Banda, a young candidate aspiring to contest as ward councillor for both Islands as an independent in the May 21, 2019 polls is nearing to fulfil.
“Youths in Malawi should no longer be looked down on, being one of the young politicians in the country; I have the capability to make things happen as I am determined to bring light in the darkness in which residents of the two Islands have been sleeping for decades but nothing tangible has happened,” narrated the young aspirant.
The shadow councillor said gone are the days when people used to say “youths are the leaders of tomorrow”.
In Malawi, the youths have been side-lined in the country to exercise their various human democratic rights to drive this nation despite the ratifications of various constitutional instruments that facilitate to safeguard Malawi but according to status quo the situation is negatively affecting the socio-economic status of young people in the country.
Gulu said it is unfortunate that young people in the country are not given the chance to be torchbearers in various fraternities.
The notion according to the United Nations Report of the 2012 indicates that 13,000 respondents from 186 countries picked limited opportunities as the main challenge for young people’s active and meaningful participation in decision-making processes.
“It is high time that we should be self-sustaining. We hold a brighter future for Malawi because we will have the pressure to perform at our level knowing we will be held accountable of our actions in the future if we fail our people.”
His burning desire enormously originated to put into account the setbacks then forge ahead with development in Likoma and Malawi at large having noticed that the nation cannot move forward with decisions only made by old people.
“We need new blood to reign the current political era of our beloved Malawi, the youths also have a crucial role to play in developing this country and that would be possible if we are shown doors to enter into leadership and decision making positions,” Gulu said.
The idea has been acknowledged knowing that politics, though is a term disdained by many, affects a larger spectrum of Malawian society such that the prospect inflicts a huge impact towards development.
It has therefore been a calling for the young aspirant to venture into politics with the main motive of initiating development in Likoma district and fight for the youths who assume pivotal roles in the initiatives.
He said: “64 years since Malawi claimed independence from the British colonialists we have failed to move as a country but the youths continue being promised to uphold power, protect and promote our rights, consequently our voices are not heard.”
Banda said Malawi is not developed because the youths are left behind in the parade against the forces that play to disadvantage our state.
He further added that it is high time that those in power have deprived political and democratic rights of the youths to participate in various development activities.
Social political commentator Emily Mkamanga shared her views on the matter and said government has to consider the youths in its system as they have the potential of bringing fresh ideas to revamp the nation.
She said: “It’s high time the youths should be engaged into vibrant responsibilities, they should no longer be taken as agents of running small errands.”
On the other hand, youth Parliamentarian for Likoma and Chizumulu Islands Judith Matewere said there is a lot more that the government is required to do to empower the youths.
Matewere said: “The government is not doing enough to engage the youths in decision making processes. We rarely see representation of young people in the national assembly and in local government such that most seats are fully occupied with the elderly.”
The aspiring councillor Banda Gulu has plans of booming the economic status of Likoma and Chizumulu Islands through introduction of a local fish market with buyers purchasing fish on better prices from fishermen in the district thereby trimming some expenses which would have been incurred to transport the fish to the mainland in order to defeat the expensive marketing forces.
“Once voted I will engage and liaise with the potential buyers from the mainland to come over the two Islands and buy our fish on better prices,” he explained.
Banda said road networks on the Island are currently in a bad state that needs immediate interventions that can only be seen by visionary young leaders with new ways of thinking to deal with these challenges.
Statistics released by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) indicate that out of 6.8 million eligible voters who have been recorded, the youths constitute 54 percentwhere females stand at 2,116,497 and males at 1,619,397 adding up to a total of 3,735,894 youths.
This shows that youths have a great role to play in the country.
Nonetheless, as the country edges closer to the 2019 tripartite elections with only five months remaining, it is time youths were given the democratic and political mandate to hold in decision making positions of managing our country.