PRESIDENTIAL Empowerment Initiative Fund (PEIF) national coordinator Clement Tembo has challenged youths to emulate the struggle of the political freedom fighters by fighting with unity to attain the country’s economic emancipation.

Speaking when the PEIF team met and shared food items with freedom fighters at Chrismar Hotel in Lusaka, Sunday, Tembo lamented that most Zambian youths were wasting their lives by engaging in illicit activities, such as alcohol abuse.

“We would like to thank the freedom fighters who have fought very hard for this nation. What we have gotten and what you did way back in 1964 was political freedom, which, yes, we have enjoyed and we have gotten. But there’s still another type of freedom that we have not gotten. And it is a challenge, now, to the young people of today that we need independence of the mind; we are still enslaved in our minds as young people. The freedom for politics we have gotten, but the economic freedom is what we need to fight for ourselves today. There are a lot of young people, who are just fighting amongst themselves today so much so that if they were the ones, who were there in those days to fight for this freedom, we wouldn’t have gotten it. If the young people of today are the ones who were there at that time when you (the freedom fighters) fought for freedom, we wouldn’t have gotten it today,” said Tembo.

“Our young people today have gone wayward! There is no unity among young people, we have gone a very different direction. It is a challenge to the young people and a call to the young people to rise up and work together. Dr Kenneth Kaunda was president at the age of 40, very young. Vernon Mwaanga was Ambassador at a very tender age. But today, you will see a young person at 25 years doing nothing, they are just drinking alcohol. We want to overcome that type of mind-set.”

And a female freedom fighter who spoke and received food items on behalf of the others, equally challenged youths to stop crying out to government for employment when schools had been built for them to get educated and become their own employers.