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MPs want fair deal for youths

2nd February 2012
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Minister for Information, Youth Culture and Sports, Emmanuel Nchimbi.

Members of Parliament have urged the government to ensure that the African Youth Charter is fully implemented to solve problems facing youths which include unemployment, troubled education system and marginalisation during appointments to key posts.

The legislators made the appeal when debating the proposed Parliamentary Resolution to ratify the African Youth Charter that was tabled by the Minister for Information, Youth Culture and Sports, Emmanuel Nchimbi.

Ester Bulaya (Special Seats - CCM) said it was not proper that most of the decent and high-paid jobs especially in the hotel industry were monopolised by foreigners while the youths remained unemployed or restricted to low paying jobs such as housekeeping.

“This should be clarified because youths are suffering under the pretext of lack of required qualifications, but we are aware that there are a good number of graduates capable of holding managerial posts,” noted Bulaya.

She warned that if the current trend of sidelining the youths, in different matters, including political may lead to unnecessary conflicts.

Mbozi West legislator David Silinde demanded clarification from minister Nchimbi why it took so long for the Charter that was signed by President Jakaya Kikwete in 2006 to be brought in the House now.

He also questioned what he termed as a divisive system of Higher Education Student Loans Board (HESLB) that set the percentage based on pass marks attained by a student, arguing that those who got bigger percentage regarded themselves as being favoured by government and thus privileged ones.

“If you look at the examination results you will realise that most of the students who get low marks are from rural areas, an unhealthy situation for the education sector and youths as well as the nation’s future. This should be reversed,” he stressed.

Silinde complained: “When the youths vie for political posts the general concept of the public is that they need more time before they can be trusted. But I and other young MPs have proved that concept wrong.”

For his part the MP for Tarime, Nyambari Nyangwine (CCM) argued that it was not proper to demand five to ten–year working experience from the fresh graduates.

Halima Mdee (Kawe, Chadema) asserted that since the African Youth Charter provides for youths’ freedom to political participation it was wrong to expel some of the higher learning students due to their political affiliation.

“We are informed that some of the students are expelled from universities because they are affiliated to political parties. This practice should be stopped forthwith because it contravenes the Charter that we are passing in this House,” said Halima.

Felix Mokosamali Muhambwe (NCCR-Mageuzi) legislator said it was absurd to learn that it was almost impossible for a young qualified person to be appointed to posts of ambassador, regional commissioner or to head various commissions.

“One day I was talking to Minister Wassira (Stephen) and he told me that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere appointed him when he was almost Mkosamali’s age. I then asked him: “Why don’t the government appoint youths to key post?” he complained.

Joseph Mbilinyi, official spokesperson on matters related to ministry of Information Youth Culture and Sports said it was high the government ensured official areas are allocated for petty traders who have on several occasions clashed with the police for conducting businesses in areas set aside for other purposes.

Chairperson of the parliamentary standing Committee on Community Development Jenister Mhagama said her committee recommended that the Resolution be ratified with reservations on the requirement for formulation of youth policy in the Parliament which was not practical as the Tanzania’s practice is that any policy formulation begins at the level of cabinet before the document is presented in the House.

According to MP Mhagama the second matter is the charter’s requirement to allow all female youth students who become pregnant or get married to be allowed to continue with their studies. This is because existing polices and laws are against such requirements.

 

The African Youth Charter that is expected to be ratified through Parliamentary resolution provides among other things, setting up grounds for youths participation in decision making, democratic processes and economic activities.   

 

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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