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Youth group call for involvement in dialogue committee

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The Inter-Party Youth Forum (IPYF) has called on the National Dialogue Committee to consider youth inclusion in the ongoing negotiations in order to address challenges facing young people in the country.

IPYF Convener Kidi Mwaga has urged the Kalonzo Musyoka-Kimani Ichung’wah led committee to include the youth in the negotiations given the fact that young people make up majority of Kenya’s population and are the most affected by social, political and economic issues facing the country.

“We draw your attention to Article 55(b) of our constitution that requires the state to take measures to ensure youth have opportunities to associate, be represented and participate in political and other spheres of life. The National Dialogue committee, as currently constituted, does not respect this constitutional dictate,” said Mwaga.

The forum which also draws its backing from the Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMPD) says exclusion of young people from the talks risk facing similar fate of the Building Bridges Initiative which was stopped by the Supreme Court early last year.

“As such, it is our considered view the dialogue process should be more accommodating and have representations from various stakeholders especially the youth who are the majority population. It is not lost on us, a similar process with same potential impacts christened BBI was started four years ago,” added Mwaga.

On Wednesday, the NDC agreed on five issues to feature in the negotiations. They include, outstanding constitutional matters, electoral justice and related matters, entrenching funds into the Constitution, establishment and entrenchment of state offices and fidelity to political parties/coalitions and the law on multiparty democracy.