The youth has been urged to constantly demand accountability from their representatives if they are to have effective representatives who can make their views heard and respected.
Addressing participants at the closure of a three-day dialogue on freedom of expression, the director of media affairs and communication division at Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), Gerald Mbanda, observed that sometimes youth representatives have fallen short in pushing through the view of those they represent.
“There are representatives who serve and complete their terms without raising a concern or word even in Parliament. This is one of the major factors that has affected representation especially by the youth; and should be addressed urgently,” Mbanda said.
He explained that this does not necessarily mean that people being represented by such representatives have no burning issues, but their representatives are simply week.
Mbanda called on participants to be careful when electing their representatives; adding that the choices they make determine the quality of representation. This dialogue was organised by the Youth Association for Human rights Promotion and Development (AJPRODHO –JIJUKIRWA).
Enock Nkurunziza, Executive Secretary of the association, said the conference was organised to bring together youth from the region to share experience and learn from each issues concerning freedom of expression.
“Sometimes, there are situations when the youth fail to read the situation; meaning— when, what and how to address issues or exercising their rights the right way that can easily help them achieve their target. And this has a serious impact on them and the nation in general as they may fail to achieve what is good for them,” Nkurunziza noted.
Participants agreed that there is need for dialogue between the population and governments to address issues that have made younger people lag behind. One of such issues is the fear to express their grievances, said Therence Nzoyisaba who attended from Burundi.
“When people are not brave enough to inform or advocate for their rights, they are always oppressed. That’s why some members of the youth sometimes resort to wrong ways of addressing their concerns,” he said.