2 January 2013

Kenya: Want Our Votes? Address Our Issues, Youth Forum Tells Politicians

NATIONAL Youth Forum has said that they will only support those leaders who are willing to address youth concerns in this year's general elections.

The forum secretary general, Ngacha Njeri, said the youth are closely monitoring the political events and will throw their weight behind a presidential candidate who is ready to address the challenges facing the youth.

"Politicians will not get a smooth ride to leadership in the next general elections if they will not address top of the agenda being job creation for the millions of unemployed youth," Njeri warned. He spoke to the Star yesterday.

The group said to enjoy a membership of 1.5million insisted that failure to address run-away youth unemployment in the election agenda could lead to unrests

"The only alliance that will be acceptable will be an intergenerational alliance featuring a blend of the young and the old and must be based on issues," he said.

He said that whereas thousands of youths continued to graduate from the university, they ended up languishing in the villages and urban slums because of lack of what to do.

"We have laid out plans to use social media to pressure presidential aspirants to address problems facing the youth, we feel that if unemployment is not addressed now it will become a crisis soon," said Njeri.

On his part, forum chairman George Thuringira said in the recent past they have been engaging presidential aspirants to discuss issues affecting the youth and urged the politicians to pursue issues that will improve the lives of the young people.

"We as NYF will mobilize youth to reject coalitions unless, the coalitions engage the youth, share power with them, a commitment is made to address youth concerns, youth un-employment being top of the agenda," said Thuringira.

"Youth unemployment was attributed to the 2007/8 violence that claimed more than 1,300 lives and displaced more than 500,000 others. We want to avoid this because unemployment knows no tribe," Thuringira said.

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