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National Youth Council Slams Opposition Candidates for Sidelining Youth in Manifestos

As the 2021 presidential and parliamentary polls close in, the National Youth Council (NYC) has slammed the opposition parties and presidential candidates for lacking proper plans for the youths.

Addressing journalists about the youth preparation ahead of the Thursday polls, Jacob Ayere, the Chairperson of NYC said that it is only the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party that has highlighted proper plans for them, yet they see a number of opposition political candidates in the race.

“The NRM party, for instance, responded to our initial press conference by developing a youth Edition of the NRM manifesto and we believe such acts by political parties go a long way in creating trust from youth in political parties plans for development, which in our opinion, should be the basis of casting votes in preference of one candidate over the other,” Ayere said.

He noted that it is unfortunate to hear some politicians claiming to fight for, represent and lead the youth without revealing what they have planned for them.

“We have tried to look for plans from opposition but none has shown us any yet we expect them to be telling us what they plan for the youth as far as employment and education is concerned,” he said.

Uganda will on Thursday this week go to Presidential and Parliamentary polls.

11 candidates are competing in the presidential race and these are; the incumbent Yoweri Kaguta Museveni from NRM, Robert Kyagulanyi from the National Unity Platform party (NUP), Patrick Amuriat Oboi from Forum for Democratic Change, Norbert Mao of Democratic Change and Rt. Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu from the Alliance for National Transformation party.

Others are; Rt. Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde, Nancy Kalembe, John Katumba, Pastor Fred Mwesigye, Willy Mayambala and Joseph Kabuleta.

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“We are the majority and make up over 70% of the total population and, as far as we know, the youth make up to 64% of the total voters and we are sure the voter turn up will make about 90% this time as compared to all the recent polls,” Ayere said.

He noted the youth demands are submitted from their National Youth Structure which has 640,455 leaders across the country and these same leaders are a mode of communication in passing on such vital information.

“We shall push this message through our youth leaders to reach out to fellow youth using a community based voluntary approach,” he said.

The Council also launched the ‘Votes No Violence’ mode of participation for youth across the country.

Ayere said this initiative is aimed at utilizing their structures in every village, Parish, sub-county and districts to undertake a peer to peer approach among the youth that encourages the exercising of youth rights to vote while adhering to their responsibility as citizens to maintain peace in the country.

“We look forward to a post-election peaceful and developing Uganda where youths can look to their futures with optimism and expanded opportunities; jobs, education, skills and talent development,” he said.

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