Open letter to candidates in the forthcoming general election

Posted by on 28th July 2017

Categories:   Uncategorized

By Kodalo Tombo

Dear politician,

I have never gone to any political rally. In all honesty, I don’t think I ever will. Here’s my reason why, others may have their own.

Firstly, no good communication happens there – in the rallies, it’s just politicians shouting in microphones and fanatics yelling back whatever. Yet this remains your favourite way of ‘selling yourself’. But what do I know, I don’t study political science. I’m not sure how many of my age mates do.

Secondly, because of the said deficiency; I had to attentively read through either manifestos of NASA and Jubilee, to understand what politicians are saying they are going to do and the feasibility of those plans or if they’re just election bait. And I promise you it was very ambitious of me; I am not sure majority of the youth really poured themselves into those manifestos but I am certain a number of us did. It’s the only way to make sense of the noise.

I think it was time well spent now that I think about it. It should be easier to fall for the many promises in the youth section of either manifestos because they seem to be speaking right to my problems. I have also never voted before 8th August.

Maybe you don’t know what my problems are. I’ll help you figure.

My biggest worry right now is HELB; how I am going to repay it. In a year’s time when I’m done with college I am afraid the Higher Education Loans Board will need me to repay the hundreds of thousands I have borrowed. I expect to pay back don’t get it wrong, I just worry that I will be bullied to repay immediately I finish college – when I likely won’t earn any salary and will need every next shilling I find to simply survive.

Getting a job is difficult – as you probably know. No; of course not for you but for young people like myself, even with a degree graduates struggle to find secure employment. But like I said, both NASA and Jubilee manifestos have got me covered, shouldn’t I just wait for the eighth and check either boxes?

NASA have promised to push HELB repayments to eighteen months after graduation which seemingly is sufficient time to have found work.

If you’ve had time to look into that manifesto you’ll see how they propose to create so many jobs for young people. People will be employed to as much as plant trees. They will introduce paid internships. They will expand the Youth Enterprise Fund to ward level.

Eureka, right?  No.

Here is why I remain sceptical. You people have had it easy for ages, saying lovely things to people in exchange for votes and it worked – to your credit. Then come election you realize some of the promises were unworkable or you just lazily forget.

I don’t know if you’ve sensed it, but this ground is swelling. Time will come when people will demand accountability.

The Jubilee election manifesto of 2013 wasn’t all rubbish. Where young people are concerned they did develop truly innovative programmes. You remember how everybody was singing praises of the NYS, the Uwezo fund and Huduma centres? I’m not saying you should seek praise for your work but more importantly, needy people were actually benefitting from these programmes. Then they blew it.

So when they made new promises like: to start a full year internship programme for all college graduates.  To expand the National Youth Service. Establish a programme they call Ajira platform that will supposedly map out every jobless young person. To make job creation the bigger concern for their next administration. I am like, won’t they just steal from these new programmes, like they did the last.

So Mr. Politician if you’ve not learned your expectations from our country’s political history, I hope this letter has been of help to you.

Be honest when making promises to young people, our guard is up.

With love,

Young person.

This article is courtesy of Project Mchujo, running with the hashtag #ChujaSiasa