We are not happy that Youth Day even exists because there is nothing youthful about it, even our positions are occupied by old people like Stephen Kampyongo, says ZANASU president Joseph Busenga.

In an interview on Youth Day, Busenga said there was nothing worth celebrating.

“As students we have nothing to celebrate about. There is nothing to celebrate about because if you look at what is happening, it does not favour the youths in any way possible. There is no proper creation of employment, no quality education in the education sector, so there is nothing that we can boast about that as youths, we are enjoying life in Zambia. There is nothing. Not so long ago students were brutalised at CBU who are youths,” Busenga said.

Busenga observed that positions which youths were supposed to be holding were occupied by older people.

“In the political sector, people who are not youths are given positions. Look at Stephen Kampyongo, he is a PF Youth Chairman when you and I know that he is not a youth himself. Look at Kennedy Kamba who is not a youth but he is Provincial Youth Chairman. So the positions that youths are supposed to be occupying are occupied by people who are above their youth stage. And they still call themselves youths, stealing those positions from us. The numbers in Parliament of youths are not equisential to the numbers of the old people. With us, we are not even happy that Youth Day even exists because there is nothing youthful about this day because those that claim to be Youth Chairmen are all old. They are not youths. Youths are left to wallow in the valley of despair. They are left impoverished,” he said.

Busenga lamented that several conditions in the country did not allow youths to be innovative.

“Youth day does not carry any meaning apart from the speeches that politicians or those in authority give. There are empty speeches every year. Every year we are told things that don’t even come to pass. There is nothing that the youths of Zambia today will rejoice and say ‘we are the youths, we have benefited in such a way, we have been innovative in such a way’ because even if we want to be innovative, the environment itself is not enabling. The laws, the environment, the conditions does not support the little ideas that we the youths have,” he said.

Busenga said politicians lured cadres with money and alcohol to portray a picture that all was well for youths in the country.

“All those that would be seen matching, celebrating [and] drinking alcohol, those are cadres who are used by the politicians. Mind you, politicians don’t want people that think. They want people that are dull so that they can give them a K50 each, buy them alcohol and they will be chanting slogans portraying a picture as if everything else is well in the country for the youths. Look at the youths that were chased out of town? Quite alright we are happy that they were removed out of town, but they were not given the alternative trading places. You tell me that those youths will be celebrating? What are they going to be celebrating about? There is totally nothing,” said Busenga.

“And in the education sector, there is nothing to celebrate because; in the research sector, resources are not pumped in. There is no research at the University of Zambia and that explains why, instead of being number one in Africa, it is ranked number 52. And when you look at how many countries are there in Africa, they are 52 countries meaning we are the last in Africa. Look at Nkrumah university, instead of employing better lecturers and giving those that were already in the service ample time to upgrade themselves, they shut it down by chasing everyone. Look at our ministry of education, instead of promoting education, they are busy shutting universities down.”