Youth Agenda Statement on Kenya’s Ministry Of Youth Affairs ’s plan to hold sham elections for the National Youth Council Officials
August 11, 2010 4 Comments
In December 2009, President Mwai Kibaki assented to the enactment of the National Youth Council Act which was subsequently gazetted in January 2010.
This Act will bring in force a powerful body known as the Kenya National Youth Council whose mandate will be to co-ordinate all youth organisations, design and continuously review the National Youth Policy and develop an “integrated National Youth Development Plan” in collaboration with the Ministry responsible for Youth Affairs. The Council will also act as an advisory, research and policy institution on youth affairs in the country. In essence the council shall be the Advocate, Connector and Enabler for young people in Kenya.
As it stands today, the National Youth Council has not been established. The Youth Agenda and other stakeholders has been at the forefront in advocating for a responsive Youth Council, we have also been vigilant in trying to ensure involvement, participation and representation of the youth constituency in the formation of the National Youth Council.
In pursuance of this, we have sent numerous communiqué to the Ministry of Youth Affairs seeking to promote youth participation in this process including a memorandum prescribing the manner in which the Youth Consortium wanted the election of the NYC officials conducted. To date, the Ministry has silent on the matter and at times evasive while operating exclusive of the youth constituents the ministry is supposed to serve.
It has now come to our attention that the Ministry of Youth Affairs is planning to hold elections of the Youth Council on Wednesday 11th August from 10am. It is on this premise that we would like to raise the following:-
1) That, a majority of the Youth are not aware of the upcoming elections
2) That, The elections might be used to rubber stamp a preselected committee
3) If the elections are not held in a transparent and participatory manner, the Council will not have the legitimacy it needs in order to have impact and achieve its goals
In the spirit of transparency, openness and inclusivity we recommend the following to the ministry;
1. That, the process be opened up at all levels for all the youth of this country
2. That, based on the memorandum (dated 2nd June 2010) submitted to the Ministry of Youth Affairs by the youth consortium, the ministry must engage other stakeholders in the election process.
3. That, if the National youth Council is to be responsive to and owned by the young men and women of the new Kenya, then the Ministry must involve the youth of this country in the process of establishing this council.
Seeing as this has not been done, we read malice into the ministry’s actions which are in bad taste. The ministry must and should remain accountable to its constituents and as such it should be prepared to face the backlash of stage-managed elections. These elections must be postponed to allow for awareness and participation of all the youth in this country.
It is our hope that the National Youth Council will have an active youth force serving in it; will be representative of all Kenyan youth including women, persons with disability as well as minorities groups; and that the appointing process will be transparent, fair and democratic.
Act. Executive Director
The Youth Agenda YAA