YALI supports PF cadres’ jobs protest

YALI supports PF cadres’ jobs protest.

By Lulumbi Nakazwe

YOUNG African Leaders Initiative governance advisor Isaac Mwanza says Patriotic Front cadres have the right to demand jobs from President Edgar Lungu because he promised to empower them during campaigns for the August 11 general elections.
PF cadres in Lusaka on Wednesday staged a protest over lack of jobs which President Lungu promised, but they were forced to abandon their procession after getting information that police were on their way to apply brutal force on them.

The cadres who protested were mostly used by the PF during campaigns to harass opposition party members and candidates in August 11 elections.

In an interview yesterday, Mwanza said things were now getting ‘in reverse’ after elections.

“The cadres have a right to protest over jobs because they were promised by the Head of State. The last campaign was full of promises and sloganeering. Some of the popular slogans that came up were about the ‘Dununa Reverse’. And youths danced to it and were promised a lot of things. Some of the promises were not very tenable because we have been hearing these promises time and again of creating employment for the youth. The first time we heard about creating employment was the time they had said that they would create 500,000 jobs,” Mwanza said.

“And then we had a Youth Employment Policy that talked about creating 1,000,000 jobs or so. We believe this rhetoric of just talking and saying ‘we will be creating jobs’ is just an empty promise that excites youths during elections and easily gets abandoned after elections. Youths must be able to learn, especially youths from the PF and the political party that will come and take over power.”
He said the leaders’ habit of promising things they could not do was bad and a source of dissent in the country.

“The PF must know that youth unemployment is a time bomb. It is a time bomb because they promised that they were going to create jobs for them and they have not given the youths the jobs they promised. So, the youth have a right to demand for jobs which were promised to them. This is about accountability. You don’t just make promises without fulfilling them. It should not just be about PF youths, there are a lot of youths out there who are languishing without jobs. People who graduated but have no jobs,” said Mwanza.

“It is unattractive for any person now to open up an enterprise and begin to work because running a business in Zambia today is very expensive. We understand the cries of the PF cadres and we sympathize with them, especially those who were singing ‘Dununa Reverse’. They should have realised what ‘reverse’ is all about.”

But after the protest by PF cadres at the Civic Center, some PF propagandists claimed the protests were over Lusaka City Council’s decision to appoint Parkrite Zambia Limited to manage parking in the Central Business District with effect from October 10.

And the Lusaka City Council public relations unit later issued a statement saying the Kulima Tower Bus Station, which the cadres said had been privatized, had not been sold to anyone.

“The Lusaka City Council would like to correct the impression created by some individuals that Kulima Tower Bus Station has been sold to a private company. To the contrary, Kulima Tower Bus Station has not been sold to anyone, hence the station is still a property of Lusaka City Council. Recently, the council announced the appointed of Parkrite Zambia Limited as the company which would manage parking in the Central Business District with effect from 10th October, 2016,” the LCC stated.

“The decision to award the parking rights to Parkrite Zambia was reached at through a Full Council meeting under minute number LCC/PSU/001CP/12. In the Memorandum of Agreement (MoU), it was agreed that Parkrite Zambia would manage the parking system on behalf of Lusaka City Council for an initial period of three (3) months subject to review with a possible extension of 10 years after which all the parking management system, including the infrastructure, would be handed over to LCC.”

It stated that the parties further agreed that the operator (Parkrite Zambia Limited) “shall manage, collect and enforce all parking fees, including all on street and off street parking spaces; intra-city bus terminus and independently parking lots owned by Lusaka City Council in the CBD”.

LCC stated that according to the agreement, Parkrite Zambia would remit 40 per cent of the parking proceeds to LCC after submission of all financials to the Finance Department.

“The City Council’s plan to engage a private company to manage the parking in the CBD is intended to sanitise and decongest the Central Business District to allow for better and safer parking system. The local authority, through Parkrite Zambia, intends to use proper paid parking management in its quest to move to smart city management protocols, such as smart traffic, smart lighting and smart transport,” stated LCC.