With just few days to go before the country goes to the second tripartite elections on May 21, 50:50 Campaign Management Agency (MA) took the equal representation campaign to another level on Saturday when it brought Karonga Nyungwe youths closer to their parliamentary aspirant, UTM’s Luwani Msowoya.
During the engagement meeting at Nyungwe TDC, the youth gave a 19 point plan to their shadow candidate.
According to Foundation for community support services (FOCUS), a local nongovernmental organization (NGO) which is implementing the project in Karonga, the roadshows and engagement meetings were organized as one way of drumming up support for Msowoya in the constituency by giving her a platform to market herself to her fellow youths on what she has in store for them.
Speaking at the event, FOCUS 50:50 campaign project coordinator Robert Silungwe attributed to lack of youths’ involvement in development and policy formulation that directly concern them as the force behind the activity, saying the youth are sidelined in the socio economic development of their respective areas.
“Through 50:50 MA, we thought of conducting general road shows in the constituency and finally mobilize the youths of Karonga Nyungwe and have a face to face interaction session with their youthful female shadow Parliamentarian so that together they plan and seal a deal before elections and that has worked,” Silungwe said.
On her part, Msowoya hailed the organizers for the activity, describing it as a rare forum that after listening to the youths concerns and their 19 point plans, she is impressed and has engaged an extra gear and readied herself to fix some of the challenges the youths are encountering as one way of reducing high levels of unemployment rate in her constituency once she is elected.
“The burning questions from the youths during our interactive meeting has manifested that there was a huge gap in as far as youths’ programs are concerned. This meeting has bridged that gap as they have also given me an assignment that is also in my manifesto such as establishing vocational and schools and technical colleges in this area.
“These issues are implementable because some of them will empower them economically and become self-reliant. I have therefore, promised them that I will implement them and now the ball is in their court to usher me into power through the ballot on May 21,” Msowoya said.
Wisdom Chimgwede who speaks for the 50:50 campaign MA said the main objective of the program was to bring together young female candidates to young voters so that they reason together and map the way forward on issues that affect the youths’ day to day life.
“The initiative is useful in the sense that youths have brought forward their critical issues to their youthful female shadow candidate and it is now up to her to take a step further to factor in her manifesto those issues so that she should utilize these few remaining days to reach out to every young voter with her amended manifesto to accommodate the 19 point plans the youths have developed for her,” Chimgwede said.
FOCUS with a basket funding from 50:50 Campaign MA implemented the activity in the youthful candidate’s constituency with financial push from Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).
The aim is to drum up support for female candidates for equal representation so that the wide gap that exists between male and female Parliamentarians and Ward Councillors should be narrowed after the May 21 general elections.