Coast Youth Conference Communique
October 15, 2021
We Want Peaceful and Issue-Based Elections
We the youth leaders drawn from the six counties of Coast Region have met here on 14th and 15th October 2021 at Kwale Cultural Amphitheater for the Coast Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference guided by the theme “Wholesome Youth for a Wholesome Society (1 Timothy 4: 12)”.
Don’t let anyone look down you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
We have appreciated that the youth in Kenya make up 70 percent of the population, and we therefore have an opportunity to make a major impact on our nation. We have embraced the motto Vijana Twaweza! to remind ourselves and our fellow youth that this is our world and we must make it the best world ever.
- Change Electoral History of Kenya
We the youth leaders have noted that over the last 40 years, elections in Kenya have been a time of tension, violence and massive suffering of citizens. Indeed, Kenya has not had peaceful elections during our lifetimes.
This practice is not sustainable, and we are determined to be the generation that transforms elections in this nation. Towards this, we have committed ourselves to sensitize and empower our fellow youth to resist the constant pressure to engage in personality based politics and instead promote issue based politics.
Secondly, we have decided and committed to empower our fellow youths to seriously vet aspirants in the coming General Elections. To effectively achieve this, we will coordinate youth groups and other members of the community to develop manifestos that detail the kind of leaders we will vote for and the priorities we will demand that they commit to.
2. County Youth Manifestos
We have in this regard developed manifestos that we will present to aspirants in our counties. In summary, we have identified the following priorities that aspirants in our counties will be required to commit to:
a) Mombasa County
The youth in Mombasa County will watch out for and support aspirants who will have clear plans to address:
- Insecurity, Drug Abuse and Alcoholism
- Emerging tension between social classes
- Religious conflicts
- Poor waste management especially poor drainage and environmental pollution
- Increase in vices resulting in pregnancies, poor morals and delinquency
b) Kilifi County
The youth in Kilifi County will demand that aspirants specify how they will address the following priority issues:
- Youth involvement and inclusion in all sectors
- Solution of the land issue, especially issuance of Title Deeds
- Expansion of education and skill building opportunities for the residents
- Funding of civic education programmes to enhance awareness on governance
- Provision of political space for the youth to assume leadership of political parties and vie for positions
- Better healthcare for the residents
- Creation of a conducive environment and trainings for youth to engage in business
c) Kwale County
Youth in Kwale County will support aspirants who have clear plans on how to:
- Stop charcoal burning and instead promote tree planting in the county
- Engagement of youth groups in establishing tree nurseries as an economic activity
- Construction of dams in areas affected by drought such as Nyalani
- Drilling of boreholes to provide water for irrigation and domestic consumption
- Stop government agents who collect bribes to allow law breakers go free
d) Lamu County
The youth in Lamu County hold the same priorities:
- Access to quality education
- Improvement of the fishing sector
- Empowerment of youth to create jobs
- Address drug abuse and recruitment into terrorism groups
e) Taita Taveta County
The youth in Taita Taveta will work with aspirants and leaders who will commit to:
- Initiate serious debate on how to deal with unemployment
- Sensitization on financial services and products available to the youth such as loans and grants
- Sensitization on how to apply for and deliver on county tenders
- Provision of mentors for the youth on the entrepreneurship
f) Tana River County
The youth in Tana River County will engage with and support aspirants who have a plan to transform the county by:
- Addressing unemployment through skills and talents development, internships, preferential of youth in accessing government procurement opportunities, and better management of the Youth Fund
- Increasing literacy levels through regularisation of bursaries and scholarships
- Establishment of accountable and inclusive governance that will have youth included at all levels
- Establishment of youth structures at the county level
3. Empower the Youth for Leadership
We the Coast Leaders in Coast Region recognize that youth have largely been left out of leadership and decision making positions, which has nurtured in them a very high vulnerability to manipulation by politicians. We plead with our fellow youths to resist the incitation by individuals and political groups that pay us to engage in violence or form militia groups. We remind ourselves that anyone who forces himself or herself as a leader through violence will not solve the issues that have troubled our people over the years.
Instead, we urge our brothers and sisters to work with and support those who have clear plans and programs to empower the youth to assume leadership.
On our part, we have committed to push ourselves to be take up decision making positions in political parties. We will also push to support youthful aspirants so that the youth, who are the majority in this country, are also the majority in Parliament and County Assemblies. We know very well that leadership will not be given to us, and we will do all we can to be elected and nominated to the positions.
4. Prepare for Peaceful and Credible General Elections 2022
We the youth have noted with appreciation the preparations that are being made for the General Elections 2022. Of special note is the ongoing Enhanced Registration of Voters. Towards this, we are calling upon all the young people in our region, and the entire country, to register so as to participate in putting in place the government that will be over our nation for the next five years.
It is however very essential that the General Elections 2022 are peaceful, credible, free and fair. We therefore call upon the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), the National Steering Committee on Peace-building and Conflict Management, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the National Police Service, and all other concerned stakeholders to partner with the church to promote cohesion and peace. No one should be allowed to incite hatred and violence during this electoral period.
In conclusion, we the youth leaders reiterate that the youth are the greatest resources our nation has. This youth bulge can however become a curse if we fail to put in place structures and platforms for them to be involved in leadership and decision making processes. We encourage all Kenyans to join us in transforming the Elections from being personality based to being issue based. Let us all always keep in mind the exhortation of Jeremiah 22: 3
This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
May God bless our nation and give us wisdom to give the youth a chance to overcome evil on behalf of all of us.
Signed on this 15th day of October 2021 at Kwale Cultural Amphitheater.
Lt Dennis Mlandi
Youth Representative, NCCK Coast Region
Eunice Zia Omondi
NCCK Coast Region