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B-Flow turned down an invitation from government to attend Youth Engagement Meeting

WHY I WILL NOT ATTEND TOMORROW’S YOUTH ENGAGEMENT MEETING ORGANIZED BY MINISTRY OF YOUTH.

I have just turned down an invitation from government to attend tomorrow’s Youth Engagement Meeting owing to the following reasons;

1. LACK OF INCLUSIVENESS: Government has only invited 50 youths on the basis of Covid-19 restrictions. Secondly, I feel the meeting has been rushed and does not give an opportunity to youths outside Lusaka to participate. Thirdly, the list of speakers does not include youth influencers such as Pilato, Mutale Mwanza, Wezi, William Wapi, Chellah Tukuta etc and the general youth population.

2. SHORT NOTICE: The Minister of Youth has only made the announcement today that youths who wish to participate should register at the Youth Development Council. In my opinion, this meeting needs to be rescheduled to allow youths ample time to register and I have advised government as such.

3. MY STATE HOUSE LETTER: Although State House has not yet responded to my letter, the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is exactly what is in the letter I wrote (youth challenges and opportunities).

4. AGENDA DOES NOT INCLUDE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: We want to be heard. The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting has “mining and construction” but does not include freedom of speech. I feel attending this meeting does not fully address the real issues that concern the youths.

5. SECURITY: The Youth Engagement Meeting will be held at Government Complex which is next door to Intercity where suspected PF Cadres who are threatening my life are found. Further, when I asked government to assure me of security, the reasons given as to why there won’t be massive police presence are not convincing. I will not allow myself to fall into another trap. Once bitten twice shy.

I have respectfully advised government to cancel tomorrow’s Youth Engagement Meeting and consult the youths before organizing such important meetings

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