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Encourage children in local governance – mayor

LUSAKA mayor George Nyendwa has said that children should be encouraged to participate in local governance for them to ably manage responsibilities when they get into these offices.
He said this was why the Lusaka City Council was keen on promoting the Junior Mayor project that will enable schools get acquainted with local governance.
Mr Nyendwa said many people in Zambia, especially the young, have little interest in local government issues.
“The introduction of this project is aimed at promoting the local government sector with the hope of building a team of young people who can take up local governance as a career. This programme will rejuvenate and inculcate a sense of understanding and responsibility into the young people on local governance and governance in general,” he said.
Mr Nyendwa who was speaking during the installation of Lusaka’s junior mayor on Friday, said the project will also influence parents, guardians and the private sector to appreciate and contribute to the improvement of the local governance system in the country.
“The concept of the junior council is a new strategy aimed at replicating the local government system that allows the identification of the needs and challenges being faced by the young people,” he said.
And winner of the Lusaka junior mayor, Jonathan Chinene, a grade 12 pupil at Northmead Secondary School called on all stakeholders to come up with policies on training young people to become responsible citizens.
“The local government is a training ground for different skills and Lusaka City Council has realised that if the country is to have good leaders in the future there is need to groom young people in the decision-making processes at an early stage,” he said.
Jonathan said through local government, the youth can be empowered with different skills and abilities that will enable them to run enterprises create employment opportunities.
“The youths in most cases have engaged in wrong things at the expense of participating in activities aimed at building the nation. I pledge that in my tenure of office I will ensure that I promote youth participation in decision-making,” he said.
The deputy junior mayors in Lusaka are Luyando Chambwa of Chilenje Secondary School and Gideon Lungu of Kamwala South Secondary School.