Some politicians also used the saying to put youths in check, lest they got ambitious and gunned for their positions in elections. No, be patient because your time is yet to come, they were told.
However, with the recent appointment of a good number of youths to various government positions, both political and administrative, by President John Magufuli, Kisarawe District Commissioner Jokate Mwegelo says the trust shown by the president in youths correctly shows that youths are not the leaders of some days to come in the distant future but of today and now.
Emerging as a front runner in the 2006 Miss Tanzania beauty pageant to become one of the country’s famous designers before joining politics and later being appointed to her new post, Jokate says that 80 per cent of the population today is composed of energetic youths who strive to develop themselves in diverse spheres.
“As youths, we need to be the centre of development. The timing by the president to appoint us and let us take charge is perfect and very much welcome,” she says.
President Magufuli has shown huge trust in youths by appointing young leaders to various capacities such as ministers, regional and district commissioners, and district executive directors, with some of them excelling in their new roles, proving that they can execute their duties much better than the old guard.
The list of young district and regional governors includes Paul Makonda, whose performance as Dar es Salaam regional commissioner has not only proved his capabilities as an administrator, but he has managed to come up with innovative plans in solving the challenges the residents of the country’s commercial capital face.
One of the issues Makonda has been able to tackle is the chronic problem of land grabbing by the rich at the expense of the poor. People with financial means have been colluding with a few unethical public officials in the lands department to give the poor a raw deal. This the RC has come out in full force to control.
In Iringa region the recently promoted regional commissioner, Ally Hapi, has been criss-crossing the region in his desire to solve people’s problems.
“Youths have the dream, the aspiration and the energy to put word into deed,” Mwegelo says.
For example, she says, in her district a number of projects and investments have been lined up to attract investors, particularly because Kisarawe district is so close to Dar es Salaam.
With regard to uplifting the education standard in the district, Mwegelo says, “Currently we have embarked on an initiative to make bricks for the construction of a school at Kimbuta and other schools in other locations. We intend to raise more funds for the education programme next year.”
According to her, a number of investors have already shown interest in investing in Kisarawe district, one of them being Kioo Limited, a glass manufacturing firm.
At a recent debate held at the University of Dar es salaam, President Magufuli said he would continue appointing youths to various leadership positions because they had proved capable of discharging their responsibilities.
“I have appointed a number of youths. Of course, some have made mistakes, which is human. But their primary objective was good. Bear with them as they learn the ropes on the job,” President Magufuli said.