The Youth Decide Campaign has punched holes in the Tonse administration’s 100 days in office, stating it lacked a clear agenda on youths and a solid plan on the creation of one million Jobs.
Presenting its assessment during a press briefing in Mzuzu on Saturday, team leader Charles Kajoloweka also accused the new administration of excluding the youth in public appointments and confusion of manifesto promises.
The assessment report further accuses government of failing to set specific targets on youths; hence, no measurable commitments, making it difficult to objectively assess the first 100 days.
Reads the report in part: “There is a lack of clear Terms of Reference [TORs)]for measuring performance of Cabinet ministers or ministries. We run the risk of mistaking trivia for achievements. Overall, the Tonse agenda on the youth is not clear even after 100 days.”
A member of Youth Decide Campaign Vincent Kumwenda added that the government does not have a clear roadmap on how it will create the one million jobs as promised during the campaign.
He said: “Youth’s hope for jobs is fast-crushing. After the June 23 Presidential Election, the job creation agenda has toned down. The Tonse administration needs to be clear on how it will create the jobs. It must rise above rhetoric. It must act now.
“We encourage the administration to robustly engage various development actors, including the private sector, non-governmental organisations, and development partners on the job creation question. Government needs support of various actors in this aspect.”
Another campaign member Agatha Silungwe also observed ambiguity on reforms for the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf), which is now being changed to National Economic Empowerment Fund (Neef).
She said: “The purpose and objectives of rebranding of Medf to Neef are not clear. It seems more of a political branding than the anticipated reforms. No consultations with key stakeholders, including the youth sector have been done in the ‘reforms’ process.” she said.
On a positive note, the grouping has observed increased accessibility and openness of government, but also reduced abuse of youth for political events.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama took to his Facebook page to outline achievements in the first 100 days of office, including business skills training for about 406 youths, continuation of the government internship programme, structural expansion of technical community colleges and a review of the National Youth Policy.
During presentation of a report on his first 100 days, President Lazarus Chakwera admitted that Malawi will be sailing in unsafe waters for a while.
“In fact, the cynics among us will be as eager to point these things out as the ancient children of Israel were to use their hardships in the desert as an excuse for disparaging their emancipation from slavery.
“However, we must be wise enough to remember that the unsafe waters that still surround us, however difficult they may be, are waters we are now sailing out of, not waters we are shipwrecked in,” he said.
In the June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election, the nine-party Tonse Alliance led by Chakwera who partnered Saulos Chilima of UTM Party as his running mate, defeated Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party.