Former Botswana ambassador to Zimbabwe Kenny Kapinga says the unemployed and poverty stricken youth can only improve their fortunes by taking government head-on through democratic means including demonstrations. Kapinga was speaking at a belated Day of the African Child commemorations at Shakawe in the northwestern district of Okavango last week. The commemorations were organised by some concerned youth in area to reflect on the challenges that the young people in Okavango are facing. “They should not be scared of the government. Yes, the government has got all the apparatus to tackle any confrontation but the youth of this country should stand their ground. The future is in their hands,” said Kapinga. Even if it meant to be persecuted by those in authority, Kapinga said the youth should stand their ground and continue fighting for their rights. According to a lamenting Kapinga, a lot of young people in the district have “continued to watch in awe”, as their democratic rights gets trampled. He added that the dignity of many young people is being deprived, urging them to stand up and be bold for their rights. “(Botswana Democratic Party) BDP is the governing party. And it (BDP) boasts of all the resources in the land. But the fact that BDP is the governing party should not deter the youth to fight for their democratic rights,” he said.
Kapinga was quick to point out that he should not be construed to be urging them to be rebellious against the government. According to Kapinga, young people should intensify their activism in fighting for provision of a better life. What are the consequences of not taking the government head on? Kapinga replied: “The consequences are a Kangaroo government, economic collapse because of endemic corruption and mismanagement of public funds. We don’t want to be like other countries in Africa.” Onalenna Mosweu, the organiser of the event, said the government was failing to connect Okavango with the rest of the country. Mosweu lamented that Okavango is lagging behind in socio-economic development, hence its poverty stricken. “We have already started the revolution. The message is being send to the government to respect the youth. Demonstrations are coming but we are not going to be violent. Our wish is to find a common goal with the government,” he said.