Chifubu forms Junior Parliament

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By Chatula Kangali

31st December, 2015.

A Bemba proverb says ‘Imiti ikula empanga’, loosely translated to mean ‘today’s seedlings are tomorrow’s forest’.

The meaning of the adage is that the youth are leaders of the future, hence efforts meant to engage them in current national affairs and also by encouraging them to be part of solutions to challenges in society. It is, IMG_4364therefore, important to give young people a platform to air their views and concerns on issues affecting them.

Establishing institutions like the Junior Parliament would allow children to develop leadership skills and to know how the country operates. Junior Parliaments are important in developing a cadre of leaders needed to foster development in any country. Such an institution allows children to look at challenges that hinder development in communities and the country at large.

Photo: Some Junior Members of Parliament  who were elected in Chifubu Constituency in Ndola during a debate.

In Ndola, a Junior Parliament in Chifubu Constituency has been formed and consists of 50 young lawmakers who were elected by their peers. The Chifubu Junior Parliament advocates good usage of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and also strives to empower youths with the knowledge to fight corruption, early marriages and HIV and AIDS.

Recently, the Chifubu Junior Parliament held a discussion that looked at the CDF. In this sitting, children reviewed how the Fund for the area was used in the last one year. Area Member of Parliament (MP) Susan Kawandami officially opened the Junior Parliament sitting.

Ms. Kawandami said it was important to give young people platform on which to speak and have their voices heard. She said that it was impressive to hear children IMG_4348raise their concerns on the usage of the CDF, adding that they advocated for the CDF to benefit the whole community.

“Today is a special day as children look at how CDF should be used. I am looking forward to how the debate will help us use funds even better in the coming year. I am also looking forward to hearing the debate because what I will learn from here is what I will share with my colleagues in the next parliamentary sitting,” she said.

Ms. Kawandami said more than half of the population in her constituency were children, hence the need to hear their views. The law marker urged the junior parliamentarians to encourage their fellow children to join the institution.

Photo: Chifubu Member of Parliament Susan Kawandami and Jubilee Centre Executive Director Pastor Lawrence Temfwe dance before the official opening of the Chifubu Junior Parliament in Ndola. 

Jubilee Centre executive director Pastor Lawrence Temfwe said at the same function that young people played an important role in the governance of the country. “Young people you have the opportunity to bring this vision to pass for you were born at a time when we have more technology and information. You know which countries led well and why they are ahead of us and which countries are prospering,” he said.

Pastor Temfwe challenged the junior parliamentarians to unite in the fight against corruption, early marriages and HIV/AIDS.