Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Unemployment will make PF unpopular - Musokotwane
By Allan Mulenga and Bright Mukwasa
Tue 03 July 2012, 13:25 CAT
SITUMBEKO Musokotwane says unemployment levels will make the PF government unpopular. And Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED) president Dr Fred Mutesa says the government must implement measures that will boost existing entrepreneurial businesses as a way of tackling the current unemployment.
Meanwhile, Dr Mutesa says President Michael Sata's comment regarding George Kunda's widow, Ireen that she should stop politicking before "traditional rituals" were performed on her, was a move to subjugate women in politics.
In an interview, Dr Musokotwane, who is former finance minister, warned that unemployment levels would get worse if good economic policies were not put in place.
"Youth unemployment will only get worse and worse because every year there is a lot of young people coming on the job market. Every year 400,000 young people get on the job market. So, the situations can only get worse. It requires very serious economic policies to get controlled. The cumulative of people who are not being employed for a year added to the new ones… that will even make it difficult to solve," he said.
Dr Musokotwane observed that many countries experiencing uprisings and
turmoil had failed to solve the unemployment problem.
"It unemployment is a very serious problem in all these countries where you have heard a lot of uprisings and there is a lot of turmoil is because of problems related to unemployment. In short, what I am saying is that if this is not solved it will make the government unpopular," said Dr Musokotwane.
And Dr Mutesa said the youth policy must be revised.
"The first thing that the government must do is revise a number of policies. For instance, the youth policy itself must be revised with the participation of the young people. Already the young people are involved in many activities where they have already identified the constraints," Dr Mutesa said.
"If you take entrepreneurship, a lot of young people are involved in self employment and they will tell you that the challenge they are faced with is capital. How do we make credit affordable and easily available to these young people?"
He said the government must find means of assisting with skills training to the
horde of youths that prematurely got out of school.
Dr Mutesa said the government should critically look at how it could grow the micro, small and medium scale enterprises.
"Critically look at how we can provide skills to those that are already involved in a number of these activities so that they can increase their productivity and improve the quality of their product."
And Mutesa said women's movements should challenge President Sata on his comment regarding Ireen as that would encourage the men domination in politics.
"It may have been in the context of a campaign, but for him to say that this woman must not be campaigning before even traditional rituals are performed is one way of subjugating women, make them second class citizens in society," said Dr Mutesa.
He said there was no greater honour a widow and her children could
to their departed one than to take up his legacy.
Dr Mutesa urged women to challenge President Sata on his remarks.
"If we talk like that, we will perpetuate this patriarchal domination of women in society where they would always be scared to come out for fear of what people are going to say. That's an outdated way of looking at issues and one that's sure to stifle the potential for development of this country."
President Sata, in reaction to Ireen's accusation that the PF prayed for the death of her husband so their candidate could take over the seat, said it was unfortunate that Kunda's widow and her son Howard could have taken to politics even before mourning period was over.