Parliament: Teachers win youth seats

Philbert Uwiringiyimana and Justine Mukobwa were yesterday elected to parliament on the youth ticket.
Electoral College for the youth during yesterday’s voting session. The New Times/John Mbada
Electoral College for the youth during yesterday’s voting session. The New Times/John Mbada

Philbert Uwiringiyimana and Justine Mukobwa were yesterday elected to parliament on the youth ticket.

Uwiringiyimana, the coordinator of national youth council, got 54.9 per cent of votes while Mukobwa got 36.4 per cent, according to preliminary results announced by the National Electoral Commission yesterday.

Uwiringiyimana holds a Master’s degree in international relations and he is a part time lecturer at Mount Kenya University.

The other 21 candidates shared the remaining votes cast by the 264 voters.

Twenty-three candidates contested for the two seats reserved for the youth, all promising to tackle youth unemployment if elected to Parliament.

The candidates, who were each given three minutes to woo the voters, campaigned at the National Electoral Commission (NEC) hall in Kigali.

All the candidates promised to advocate for a guarantee fund to enable youth to get credit facilities from financial institutions.

Uwiringiyimana said he would press for implementation of programmes that benefit the youth while Mukobwa promised to push for the set up of youth institutions at grassroots and champion fight against diseases mostly affecting youth like HIV/Aids.

They also promised to support youth come up with bankable projects to attract funding and ride on government employment initiatives like Kuremera and Hanga umurimo to create more jobs. 

The Electoral College for the youth candidates include eight people from the National Youth Council from each district, plus eight members of the council at national level and eight representatives of high school and university institutions. 

General promises 

Despite the presence of the students among voters, no candidate promised to advocate for education reforms or student loans, a serious concern among university students at the moment.

“I was surprised that of the 23 candidates, none suggested they would try to have the Ubudehe classification adapted to the capacity of each and everyone, yet it has affected many students,” said Rogers Kimuri Nziza, a voter from Institute of Agriculture (ISAE) Busogo.

Kimuri said candidates’ promises were general, but “good enough to help address unemployment which is a big challenge.”

“We know it is a challenge waiting for us; we are happy all the candidates at least talked about it,” said Aloys Nzibakwiye, a secondary school voter.

The 2010 third integrated household living condition survey has found that the unemployment rate in Rwanda stood  at 8 per cent and the youth were the most affected.

 

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