The Patriotic Front government should treat youth unemployment as a time-bomb which is likely to explode before the 2016 general elections, says Open Society Foundation (OSF) executive director Sunday Chanda.
Mr. Chanda said that the PF was sitting on a time bomb which would be difficult to control when time came for it to explode.
He said that high levels of youth unemployment in Zambia were worrying, and saddening because the PF leadership appeared not care about the situation.
Mr. Chanda demanded that PF stopped playing with youth unemployment by coming up with a national plan on how it would create jobs for young Zambians.
“The earlier they realize that youth unemployment is a time-bomb, the better. Zambian youths will not be lied to again because it is a known fact that th9ousands of graduates from colleges and universities cannot find jobs,
“Youths will not be lied to again if PF does not recognize the immorality of an injustice called wage and employment freeze they have notoriously imposed against the suffering masses,” said Mr. Chanda.
He claimed that the PF had failed to advance an agenda for economic empowerment for the youths as it promised during the 2011 election campaigns during which it also promised more jobs and more money in people’s pockets.
Mr. Chanda said that for now his organisation was consulting stakeholders, political parties and individuals with interest in the governance of the nation to help chart the way forward.
“OSF is consulting with stakeholders within and across the borders on an economic agenda that young people must push. But firstly we shall hold PF government accountable, secondly, we shall introduce a campaign buffer to ensure youths are never lied to again
“Thirdly, we shall to ensure economic transformation to the effect that future governments will respond to youth unemployment and lack of economic freedom with the deserved urgency,” said Mr. Chanda.
He said that Zambians were fed up with fake and failed promises coupled with cooked up statistics about jobs created by the PF when reality there was nothing on the ground.
Mr. Chanda said that the next election would be about the economy and living standards of citizens and not fake promises like the ones the PF government made to the people of Zambia in 2011.
“Zambians are so fed-up with failed promises and cooked up statistics about jobs which do not exist. Zambians deserve quality jobs and not the temporal ones being created through infrastructure projects,” said Mr. Chanda.
“PF in government has failed to deliver a National Youth Jobs Plan over the last three years despite President Michael Sata’s clear directive of 12th March 2012. If PF in government meant business on creating quality jobs for youths, they would have demonstrated a sense of urgency by now,