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Youth league should focus on real issues

THE Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LDC)’s youth league has been in turmoil for the past four years.

Since 2006 the wing has known no peace.

The committee elected in 2006 was booted out in 2008 for allegedly disrespecting the party’s leadership.

Its tenure was short but eventful.

Factionalism, plotting and backstabbing was the league’s staple and there were serious allegations that the committee was being used by some senior party members in their political manoeuvres.

In the end the committee left office with nothing positive to show for it.

A caretaker committee elected in October last year did not fare any better as it inherited the same problems that had sunk its predecessor.

Still the infighting persisted and so did the allegations that the interim committee members were being used as pawns in the LCD’s succession politics.

Last night the LCD youth league was still holding a conference at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre which was expected to usher in a new leadership.

Results are due today but we have no doubt that the new leadership is inheriting an organisation that has neither cohesion nor intention to clean up the mess that it finds itself in.

There is no doubt that the fights might actually intensify as the losers plot their comeback.

There will always be some senior party members who will want to patronise the youth league.

Yet the problems in the league would not have been an issue of national consequence had their impact been restricted to the LCD alone.

What worries us is that as they seek to outwit each other for plum positions the LCD youths are neglecting their mandate.

Being the Young Turks of a party in government, they must be able to influence the national policies that benefit the youth.

The youth of this country have been ravaged by HIV and Aids both directly and indirectly.

There are nearly 200 000 HIV and Aids orphans in this country.

Nearly one in every four people in this country is HIV-positive and the bulk of them are in the economically active group.

In the meantime many young people continue to be infected every day because there are no serious campaigns to educate them about the disease.

With unemployment already scandalously high at 45 percent, it is clear that many young people, whether educated or not, will struggle to get jobs.

This country’s education system is collapsing and its health sector is already on its knees.

The youths are still generally marginalised in the allocation of national resources and they struggle to get capital to start projects.

These are the fundamental issues that the LCD youth leadership should impress upon the government.

They should scream or even toyi-toyi if the government does not take them seriously.

But it appears the LCD youths have neither a vision nor ideas of their own.

That is why they have not been making any meaningful contribution to the national policy and discourse.

They are misdirecting their energies towards currying favours with the party’s bigwigs instead of improving their lot.

The LCD youth must clean up their act if they want to be relevant to national politics.

They must speak to the real issues affecting the youth of this country and remember that their mandate is from the youths of this country first and not the party’s bigwigs.

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