Youth Day celebrations - United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema, has defended the opposition’s stand to boycott Youth Day celebrations on Wednesday saying that the opposition finds it totally heartbreaking that after almost 50 years of independence, the country still has politicians who lack basic understanding and urgency for a new constitution which they promised themselves.
He said that the large number of the youths that were largely responsible for putting the Patriotic Front (PF) in office voted them on the premise that they would urgently deliver a constitution that would guarantee basic fundamental freedoms and human rights that would ensure accountability and good governance.
“But just yesterday (Tuesday), the hopes of the youths who are the future generations were again trashed by the PF MPs who voted against our motion that would have a given clear road map for a people-driven constitution,” Hichilema said on Wednesday.
He said it was not out of lack of patriotism that he had supported the stand taken by UPND youths and their counterparts from other opposition political parties that had chosen to stay away from any sort of celebrations on this day.
“This lack of integrity and honesty by our colleagues in government does not inspire us to urge our youths to participate in national day celebrations. Like many other citizens, the youths were equally cheated by the PF government on many things.”
Hichilema said the youths were also cheated on the provision of decent and permanent jobs, and yet the PF had not come back to explain to the youth why the jobs had not been created.
“We find it difficult to celebrate when the youths are still struggling to get into school, and when they are struggling to make ends meet,” the opposition leader added.
President Michael Sata on Wednesday in his message on Youth Day noted that his government had established the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) which would spur economic activities and growth and create employment opportunities for the people especially the youth.
Sata said the youth could rightly be called the force that drove economic and social progress and that they were the innovators and the source of productivity and progression.
“We owe the youths for they are the ones who keep the world in the continuous evolution that it is in,” Sata said on his Facebook posting.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Zambia at 50: Promoting youth mainstreaming for Sustainable National Development.”