National elections campaigners Youth Decide 2019 courts university students

Clement Makuwa, Youth Decide member

By Muloyi Magenge 

The grouping running a national elections campaign, code-named Youth Decide 2019 to drive up the youths to be active participatants ahead of 2019 Tripartite elections, met students of Malawi Assemblies of God University (MAGU) on Thursday evening to sell them the grouping’s agenda. 

The team, which is also developing a youth manifesto to inform young people’s decisions ahead of the forthcoming polls, wanted the students input into the manifesto.

The youth manifesto will act as a basis for holding the next government accountable on youth issues. 

“We do not want to leave anyone out, especially these university students most of whom are young people and among the voting group,” said Clement Makuwa, who is Youth Decide 2019 team member and National Director of Young Politicians Union (YPU).

Derek Pendame, MAGU students union GS

Makuwa added that there are many public and private universities that they would seek audience with beside meeting political parties, organisations, donor community and many other stakeholders that are relevant to the Youth Decide 2019 campaign.

“The youth manifesto wants to galvanise youth actions and voices. We have already identified a lead consultant who is helping us to develop the manifesto,” he said.

The Youth Decide 2019 team considers the youth manifesto as a new innovation because, for a long time, there has been no clear youth led and youth focused development agenda in Malawi.

Taking his turn, MAGU student union secretary general, Derrick Pendame, commended the Youth Decide 2019 campaign, saying it empowers young people ahead of the polls.

“The participation of the youths in the incoming elections cannot be overemphasized considering that we are in majority and have the power to change things if well organized under initiatives such as these,” he observed.

Pendame reiterated that the youth manifesto would enable young people to hold their leaders squarely accountable as they rarely fulfill campaign promises. 

The Youth Decide campaign is championed by a consortium of Youth NGOs/actors in Malawi namely; Network for Youth Development (NfYD), Young Politicians Union (YPU), Youth and Society (YAS), MHUB and Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO). 

The thrust of the campaign is to stimulate positive energies and participation of Malawian youth in shaping the country’s development and governance agenda through the 2019 electoral cycle.

The campaign derives from the conviction that the 2019 elections provides a golden opportunity for the Malawian youths who are in majority to come together to reflect on the country’s current state of development and drive their aspirations through organized engagement throughout the 2019 political window.