My two TV addicts were at it as usual. They were watching some NRM youths spitting fire over their favourite candidates for the party chairmanship and presidential candidacy. When they saw me approach, the minister’s maid teased that I was missing out on some lucrative job.
“Which job?” I asked.
“As a party youth,” she answered mischievously. “I can see some age-mates of yours in the fights so you can also sneak your way in.”
“Never mind about the age since it is just a number,” I said. “But how do I get paid for taking part in that name calling?”
“You will earn big,” she said. “Just promise that you will sponsor our next salon visit and I tell you how to make the money as a political youth.”
“I’ll pay after I have made the money,” I said, standing my ground.
We haggled a bit and she finally accepted my terms of paying after I start earning the youth cash at my advanced age and she started explaining.
“All those youths including your age-mates who attended that meeting with the party chairman were paid Shs350,000” she said.
“And for how long can I live on that?” I asked.
“This is competition so the top contender will also have to pay Shs350,000 or more if he already hasn’t paid anyway,” she started explaining.
“That is Shs700,000” I calculated. “And how often does that come, once in five years?”
“No!” she exclaimed. “The campaign starts the day the elections are held. So you can expect the Shs700,000 from the party chair contenders once every year.”
“That works out to about Shs60,000 a month,” I observed. “Not exactly lucrative.”
“But the party chair is not the only seat to contend for,” she pointed out. What about the all powerful secretary generalship? That is another Shs60,000 per month for you, making it Shs120,000 a month.”
“Hmmn, I am beginning to get interested,” I murmured.
“As a youth mobiliser, you then move down to the district and start collecting from the district chairman and the top contender for his job,” she continued. “Those guys are running a local presidency of their own and they should pay the same amount the to party contenders.”
“So you are saying my pay as a youth becomes Shs240,000” I observed.
“Not yet,” she said. “You can pick just one constituency and as a mobiliser, you get paid the same amount. I can tell you for the constituency you even earn more for I know what our honourable goes through.”
“Shs360,000” I simply said.
“And then there is the all important district woman seat from you which you should earn the same,” she went on.
“Shs480,000” I updated the figure.
“After that the amounts start reducing,” she explained. “From the sub-county contenders expect Shs250,000 each which comes Shs500,000 a year if you collect from only two rivals. That should come to an additional Shs40,000 per month.”
“Shs520,000,” I said, totalling up.
“For the councillors at that level expect Shs150,000 per contender,” she said. “But these guys are so close to the ground you can collect from several and they don’t find out.
And remember there are many other youth who are in the same business as yourself. So at the lower level you get only once councillor contender because all the youth need to be employed in this campaign business, and your monthly average there is only 10k.”
“Shs530,000” I said in total.
“Is that bad money?” she asked.
“Not bad at all,” I conceded. “And it will keep a few million youth employed profitably, the way we are proceeding with endless political activity, throughout the five year cycle. They just need to be well focused and the story of youth unemployment will belong to history!”