Youth leaders in Uganda are mere opportunists, says Mao

Tuesday June 11 2019



Mr Norbert Mao. FILE PHOTO

Mr Norbert Mao. FILE PHOTO 

By DERRICK WANDERA

KAMPALA. The chairman of Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD), Mr Norbert Mao has blasted youth leaders, labelling them ‘opportunists’ for failing to organise themselves and being more creative to contribute to their political systems with fresh ideas.
“Not only are the youth disorganised but also unorganised. The only time a youth calls you is when they have an interest of standing for a political office. They are mere opportunists and not committed to seeing change in the country,” the Democratic Party (DP) president general said Monday while responding to the youth who asked to be part of the IPOD key decision making structure.

“The youth asking to be part of IPOD summits or meetings is like a catholic faithful asking to be part of the cardinals’ meetings. The system is already organized and unless they write to us putting forward their suggestions, that won’t happen,” he added.
Last Saturday youth leaders of different political parties under their umbrella body Interparty Youth Platform (IYOP) asked to be included in discussions and major decisions that happen in the meetings for effective implementation of IPOD.

Addressing their conference at Hilton Garden Inn, Mr Geoffrey Kasumba, the chairperson of IYOP said they have been neglected and left out of discussions yet they are key stakeholders in managing Uganda.
Mr Mao said, “If the youth want to attend the summits, they should be elected as secretary generals or presidents of their political parties. They should come up with new ideas. For instance, we did not get a statement on OTT from IYOP and how can they convince us that they are ready? Some of us old people have more fresh ideas than the youth.”
In the IPOD structure, the summits are supposed to be attended by political party heads while the meetings are supposed to be attended by the secretary generals.

The IPOD has held two summits in the last 10 years and the recent one happened last month at State House in Entebbe.
The main Opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has since snubbed both summits citing inconsistences and failure to meet commitments made during the meetings.
The youth also demanded that they be part of the yet-to-happen National Dialogue which will include civil society leaders, political heads and religious leaders.

Ms Maggie Kigozi of the Elders Forum which is spearheading the intended National Dialogue, who was invited at the conference as one of the stakeholders aid she would return to the other committee members to discuss about the concerns of the youth.
“I cannot comprehensively answer all these questions but I will table them to our committees and see how we can include the youth in the dialogue,” Ms Kigozi said.

editorial@ug.nationmadia.com

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