Youth say no more being 'used', demand political influence

Politics -->
Youth say no more being 'used', demand political influence
Caption not available

Youth members from various political parties have voiced their frustration over being treated merely as tools for political mobilisation rather than as contributors to policy and decision-making.

Despite holding positions within party hierarchies, many young political players feel sidelined when it comes to influencing contemporary issues affecting their parties.

The situation has sparked warnings that political parties risk losing support if they continue to ignore the voices of their youthful members.

These young leaders argue that while they are often given special titles, their actual influence remains limited.

"So they have a very special role they play, but greatly today the role of mobilization, the role of ensuring the information - the message for what the work NRM is doing - reaches every corner," said Edson Rugumayo, youth ML for western Uganda.

"But of course the greatest aspiration of the youth has not been relegated to mobilization only. They have always aspired to be heard to become policy influencers."

Despite the presence of youth in political roles, the experience varies across parties. Some, like the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), claim to offer more substantial roles for young members.

"We are represented. So apart from that, even the party president has put the party ideology school and this is headed by the head of ideology. This school is purposely to empower, train cadres and young people so that they are fit for the purpose," explained Faisal Muzeeyi, the media head at UPC.

As the 2026 general elections approach, there is a growing call among young politicians for a change in the way parties manage and make decisions.

They want to transition from being mere mobilizers to becoming key players in policy formulation and implementation.

"The youth can play a much bigger role if they are prepared very well. If there is a platform to mentor them, show their talent," Roy Ssemboga, one of the founders of the People Power movement.

"The current political establishment uses young people for majorly mobilization, against handouts but I think they can play a critical role in policy and fundamental in decision-making."

The upcoming elections will test whether political parties are ready to embrace this shift and genuinely empower their youthful members to drive meaningful change.

Reader's Comments