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Vijana Twaweza!, Tunyakue Chance Yetu – Upper Eastern Youth

Vijana Twaweza!, Tunyakue Chance Yetu

Conference Communique

Just over 100 youth leaders drawn from Isiolo, Marsabit, Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties have on 1st and 2nd November 2021 met here at Methodist Church in Kenya Isiolo Town for the Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference aimed at strategizing for effective betterment of the lives of the youth. The Vijana Twaweza! was guided by the theme “Wholesome Youth for a Wholesome Society (1 Timothy 4: 12)”

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

The Youth Leaders were challenged by the scripture to recognize that youth are responsible for ensuring they are respected and honored by all. If anyone despises the youth, it is because the youth have allowed them to do so. Appreciating this, this Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference shares the following message:

1. Secure Elections 2022

We in this Youth Conference appreciate that Kenya is a democracy in which the government is established through constitutionally scheduled elections. Every citizen then has a patriotic duty to participate in elections. We are therefore greatly disappointed by the high level efforts by state officers and political actors to discourage Kenyans, especially the youth, from participating in electoral processes. We especially call upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), as per the requirements of Article 73 (1)(a)(iii) and (iv), to have charged in court the persons who have been declaring publicly that voting in elections is immaterial since results are actually determined by the “deep state”. This undermining of confidence in our electoral and governance processes must be dealt with immediately and firmly. The 2022 General Elections must be secured from such unpatriotic and negative sentiments.

2. Register as Voters

On our part, we have committed to motivate our fellow youths to register as voters in the coming elections. Political actors have woken up to the reality that youth in Kenya are more than 70% of the population, which gives us the power to shape and influence the governance of this nation. The negative vibes about elections are calculated to discourage us from participating in the 2022 General Elections. But we the youth refuse to play their game. We will take our position and shape the future of our nation.

Further, we recognize that leadership and opportunity will not be served to the youth on a silver platter. We have committed ourselves to encourage and support the youths who have integrity, good morals and political ambitions to assume decision making positions in political parties and vie in the next General Elections. Wholesome youths will transform this nation.

3. Shape the Future of the Youth

We in this Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference recognize that the quality of life in future depends on the decisions made today. Appreciably, the policies and programs of the government are a key determiner of quality of life. For this reason, we have purposed to do all we can to influence and shape government policies and laws at national and county levels for the betterment of the lives of the youth.

To achieve this, we have developed Manifestos in which we identify the challenges prevailing in each county, the viable interventions and programs to address them, and budgetary requirements for the same. We will from here organize our fellow youths at different levels and groups to similarly develop manifestos on what is required to better their lives. These manifestos will then be used to vet aspirants in the 2022 General Elections. We will only support candidates who understand the issues of the youth and have clear strategies on how to address them. The culture of waiting for politicians to make empty promises has come to an end.

4. County Manifestos

In this regard, we highlight the following key goals and aspirations of the youth in each of our counties, upon which we will vet aspirants who come asking for votes:

(a)       Isiolo County

  • Ensure equitable and inclusive employment of youth in the county to reverse the trend where nearly all public offices are run by old people
  • Ensure equal justice of the youth in the county regardless of tribe or clan
  • Reduce cost of doing business and provide start up capital for youths
  • Integrity and good governance by office holders

(b)       Marsabit County

  • Rehabilitation programmes for youths trapped in drug abuse, and firm action against the traffickers
  • Structured disarmament of all communities to mop up illegal firearms
  • Allocation of 75% of employment opportunities to the youth to reflect their component of the population
  • Sinking of boreholes around the county to provide domestic and irrigation water
  • Ensure equal justice of the youth in the county regardless of tribe or clan

(c)       Meru County

  • Allocation of funds for Research and value addition of all crops
  • Reduction of taxation and relaxation of business licensing requirements
  • Establishment of value addition industries
  • Infrastructural development especially roads
  • Identification and nurturing of youth talents

(d)       Tharaka Nithi County

  • Promote youth innovations through provision of youth-friendly loans
  • Improving sanitation and access to clean water
  • Development of an agricultural growth strategy that embraces new technologies and mobilization of youth to embrace agri-preneurship
  • Enhancement of technical institutions to equip youth with skills
  • Improve access to quality basic and secondary education

5. Vijana Twaweza! Njooni Tunyakue Chance Yetu

We in this Vijana Twaweza! encourage and inspire our fellow youths to rise up and grab the opportunities available to us. Let us not be discouraged by the misdeeds and failures of those ahead of us, and instead let us arise and influence the political governance of our country. Vijana Twaweza!, lakini ni lazima tujitokeze ili tunyakue hizi opportunities. As youth, let us register as voters, let us seek and assume decision making positions in political parties, and let as many of us as are willing run for seats during the elections.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we remind ourselves and all other Kenyans that each of us has a responsibility to participate in our electoral and governance processes. Let us recognize that youth are able to positively shape the nation, and all they need is the opportunity. It is our hope and prayer that we will all be inspired and motivated by the words of our National Anthem:

Let one and all arise, with hearts both strong and true; Service be our earnest endeavour; And our homeland of Kenya, Heritage of Splendour, Firm may we stand to defend

Signed on this 2nd day of November 2021 at Methodist Church in Kenya Isiolo Town.

Rev Linda Mwirigi

Youth Representative, NCCK Upper Eastern Region

Jeniffer Muthaura

Regional Manager, NCCK Upper Eastern

December 2021
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