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Vijana Twaweza Kutransform Kenya – Nyanza Youth Communique

Vijana Twaweza Kutransform Kenya

Conference Communique

Preamble

We the Youth in Nyanza Region have met here at Maranatha Faith Assemblies Migori Worship Center on 22nd and 23rd October 2021 for the Nyanza 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.

Recognizably, the youth in Kenya have not been involved in political leadership and decision making despite being 70 per cent of the population. As a result, the priority issues of the youth have not been given the attention or resources they deserve, and the youth are often used and dumped by politicians. We desire to change this history, and have embraced the motto Vijana Twaweza!

1. Promote Peaceful, Credible, Free and Fair Elections

We the Youth in Nyanza Region have taken cognizance that in the past, national and .county level elections have been marred by violence and claims of injustice. This trend must not continue, for democracy is premised on peaceful, credible, free and fair elections. To ensure this, we call upon all political actors in our region and the entire country to:

  • Campaign peacefully without inciting violence
  • Share, publish and disseminate information on the best practices on peace building and development, knowing that a person who preaches peace will not at the same time preach violence
  • Promote respect for religious, cultural and linguistic diversity to enhance tolerance
  • Promote use of dialogue and other peaceful methods of resolving conflicts and disagreements using the laid down mechanisms

2. County Youth Manifestos

We the Youth in Nyanza Region have chosen to take charge of our lives and transform the political narratives so as to better our lives. Towards this, we have developed manifestos that detail the commitments we will be demanding from every aspirant in the coming elections. We are determined ensure that the leaders elected next year are those who have clear visions for our counties and region. In summary, the expectations we will have on our leaders are:

a) Homa Bay County

The youth in Homa Bay County expect leaders elected next year will commit to:

  • Family Education Programme to equip parents
  • Youth programmes especially economic empowerment activities
  • Community empowerment initiatives
  • Development of appropriate recreational activities for young people
  • Intercultural and Inter-generational nationhood enhanced

b) Kisii County

We the youth in Kisii County have committed to only engage politicians and aspirants who are committed to:

  • Provision of affordable loans for the youth who have ideas to invest
  • Fair representation of the youth in the County Government
  • Invest in sports activities to promote talent and reduce abuse of drugs
  • Set aside funds for programmes to counter sexual and gender based violence

c) Kisumu County

The youth in Kisumu County expect aspirants and political leaders to have clear plans on how to:

  • Create employment, especially by promoting value addition and reviving collapsed industries
  • Provide affordable loans for the youth to make investments and engage in productive activities
  • Reduce levies and taxes imposed on small and medium enterprises
  • Accord the youth equal opportunities to participate in leadership and decision making
  • Upgrade local markets and social amenities

d) Migori County

In Migori County, the youth will support aspirants and work with leaders who will commit to:

  • Well equipped youth centers in all the Wards for learning and trainings
  • Fair distribution of resources including bursaries, job opportunities, and contract awards
  • Low taxation and reduce levies for youth small scale traders
  • Establishment of market linkages for youths to engage in business
  • Proper management of public funds

e) Nyamira County

The youth in Nyamira County have resolved to promote and support leaders who clearly articulate strategies to:

  • Employment in the county to be conducted openly and in public, not through appointments by county officials
  • Create open markets and business facilities for the youth to run enterprises
  • Affordable loans and financial services for the youth to raise capital for business ventures
  • Awareness creation and trainings for the youth to gain knowledge and promote their talents

f) Siaya County

The youth in Siaya County have set the following criteria for vetting aspirants and will support those who are committed to:

  • Involvement of the youth in decision making on the economic, social and political future of Siaya
  • Increasing budgetary allocation for Youth Friendly Centers
  • Allocating funds to boost small business ventures initiated by young people
  • Promoting engagement of the youth in agriculture
  • Improving the Tertiary Colleges in the county to offer marketable skills for self employment

3. Message to Fellow Youth

The Youth Leaders who have met during this Vijana Twaweza! Youth Conference for Nyanza Region have recognized that the transformation of Kenya must begin with each individual youth. Towards this, we urge our fellow youths across the country to consider and adopt the following strategy pillars:

  • Make informed, right and wise choices daily. Do not be blackmailed with tribal narratives to make the wrong choices
  • Cultivate a positive and winning attitude in your life. You are not a failure, you have all you need to be a success.
  • Build and sustain networks of likeminded and dependable friends
  • Learn from the experiences of those who are older than you. Do not make the choices they made that led to failure
  • Open your eyes to recognize new opportunities, and take advantage of them
  • Do something new. Know that no one will praise you for doing what everyone else has done.

4. Register as Voters

We the Youth in Nyanza Region appreciate that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has put in place preparations for the General Elections 2022. We call upon and plead with all Kenyans, especially our fellow youth, to register as voters during the ongoing Enhanced Registration process. We as youth must be ready to put in place leaders who will work for our welfare.

5. Enforce Elections Related Laws

On their part, we call upon the elections related institutions to strictly enforce the law to ensure that the General Elections 2022 will be peaceful, credible, free and fair. Of note, 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 must deal speedily and publicly with any persons who threaten peace and cohesion.

Conclusion

Recognizably, the youth are the greatest resource our nation has. The youth can however be a curse to the nation if proper structures and platforms for involvement in leadership and decision making are not put in place.

On our part, we have committed to do all we can to transform elections from being personality based to being issue based. We will therefore organize our fellow citizens at church and community level to develop manifestos to articulate what we will demand from our leaders. We will not any more sit back and wait for politicians to make promises, and instead will make demands of what they should do. We will continue to take inspiration from the scripture recorded in Isaiah 1: 16

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

These are the values we will promote among ourselves and seek in the leaders we elect.

May God bless Kenya now and always.

Signed on this 23rd day of October 2021 at Maranatha Faith Assemblies

Job Mogendi

Regional Youth Representative, NCCK Nyanza Region

Carol Okutoyi

Regional Manager, NCCK Nyanza Region

January 2022
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