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Let the youth take over

George Chaponda remains suspended, George Chaponda not involved in maize saga etc; those are the headlines on our radios and television expected today as Supreme Court Judge Dunstain Mwaungulu makes his ruling on whether the embattled Agriculture minister Chaponda should remain suspended or not.

In addition, the President Peter Mutharika (APM) appointed Commission of Inquiry on Maizegate is supposed to finish its investigations on the same today.

Good day indeed for journalists and Malawians following current events but Smoke and Thunder has thought of taking a different path altogether.

African Union, the gigantic body of African countries, has designated 2017 the year of the youth or something like that.

Our own old dear APM thought this was worth blowing off taxpayers’ money to attend the summit in Addis Ababa and indeed it was worth it.

However, let APM and his government walk the talk; show that they really care for the youth who are tired of lip service and political rhetoric.

The youth want to have a bright future in this country.

They want to excel in life like the Malawi Ambassador to Ethiopia Chimango Chirwa; they want to be like Veep Saulos Chilima.

They want to be like the youthful but intelligent editors at Times Group in the likes of The Daily Times Editor Innocent Chitosi, Deputy Editor Madalitso Musa (the youngest of all), Sunday Times Editor Chachacha Munthali and the biggest of all, the Editor-in- Chief George Kasakula.

These are young, talented and focused team of management at Times Group newspapers who have remained steadfast in the wake of assault by the government.

These are the youth who went to the University of Malawi or other public universities for them to attain the qualifications that is making the Times Group newspapers very exciting than ever before.

I am always, therefore, baffled when our leaders, let me be blank here, Mutharika and his government ignore and perpetually close public universities while telling our youths to go to community colleges.

This is not only lack of judgement but immoral. Our youths do not want to be dragged to the so-called community colleges to do mechanics using an old vehicle make engine for practical in a dilapidated old tearoom-turned college without running water and electricity.

They do not want to be used as political warriors for political wars they never benefit from and they will never understand.

They do not want to be used on Facebook to attack innocent critics of their leaders or parties.

Malawi needs to be serious on this issue.

We can have a law that should explicitly state that 50 percent of all decision-making positions should be occupied by qualified and competent youths.

Our leaders can walk the talk on the future of our youths if the government stops closing public universities willy-nilly just because those in power have their children in expensive private universities abroad.

We can show our love for the youth if we do not groom them to believe that our leaders are gods or semi-gods whose ideas and policies cannot be questioned.

Rather we should tell them that the President, cabinet ministers and Leader of Opposition are human; they make mistakes and should be criticised if they go wrong.

Let us tell our youths that corruption and plunder of public resources is not only immoral and against the law but it is evil.

But first and most important, let us teach our youths love and that belonging to different political parties and allowing and accommodating dissenting views is what makes Malawi a shining star in democracy in this part of Africa.

This set of old generation leadership should prepare itself for the exit and the grooming of the youth to take over should start now.

Those who have reached the age of retirement should be kicked out immediately and their positions taken by the well-educated, well-groomed youths.

I do not see any sense in taking somebody who retired 15 years ago to serve as ambassador when we have young men and women who can easily make diplomacy as a bright career.

I do not have personal issues with Kamphambe Nkhoma, the retired deputy chief secretary who has been plucked from his retirement home to go to Germany to serve as Malawi’s ambassador but I feel he should be recalled from the embassy in Germany.

The youth unemployment rate is record high. I am sure it is not Nkhoma alone who is being harassed and abused by the government which is forcing our senior citizens to work after their age cannot allow them to do so.

These people are physically and mentally tired and need some quietness in their retirement homes.

I do not expect the Malawi mission in Germany to be as productive as our mission in Ethiopia where Chirwa is doing a wonderful job. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party has very educated youths in its rank and file, with very good credentials and can perform much better.

It is sad that when it is not the wives, sons or daughters of cabinet ministers, then it is the elderly being stuffed in our foreign missions while the youth are successfully turned or groomed to be political hand-clappers.

No wonder, we are not getting the desired results from our foreign missions.

This is a thought-provoking issue which needs to be tackled head-on, not with just lip service.

Women managed to get their gender law after intense lobby.

Of course, I am well aware that the government is not fulfilling the law that requires women should make up 30 percent of all decision-making entities, including the cabinet but at least the law is there; we can push APM to make it a reality.

However, there is nothing for the youth except for zikwanje which they are given to hack or harass those with opposing or dissenting views in a bid to silence them.

Therefore, I expect the government to work tirelessly on education empowerment of our youths.

It is pointless and senseless for Mutharika to make a wonderful presentation, even decided the agenda for the youth summit in Addis Ababa when on the ground, back in Malawi, the youth are pushed to the back, when the youth are used to carry and show off portraits of the President in political rallies and public functions.

Let me borrow this phrase: this nonsense must stop

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