The 2008 Population and Housing Census shows that over half of Malawi’s population is under the age of 40.
This means the country has a predominantly youthful citizenry.
However, the youth continue to bear the brunt of high unemployment rates, limited educational opportunities, low skills development and other impoverishing challenges. Corruption is widely accepted as one of the catalysts of various challenges.
While various strategies have been adopted to reduce corruption, the involvement of the youth in the fight can make a huge difference.
The youth have an inevitable duty to fight against corruption to overcome the prevailing challenges and safeguard their future.
A corruption-free Malawi stands to benefit them more than doing business as usual. This is why they need to become champions of the fight against corruption.
Forming and supporting anti-corruption clubs in school and communities is one of the numerous ways in which youths can take part. The clubs create awareness on the evils of corruption using debates and sensitisation talks. They empower the youth to speak about it.
But young Malawians must fight corruption from an individual level.
Eliminating corruption starts with oneself. Be honest and promote integrity within oneself.
Ethics should form part of the daily life of every young citizen. Promoting ethical behaviour creates a social climate where corruption is unacceptable and stigma for those who are corrupt.
The beauty of fighting corruption at a personal level is that it spreads to all social groups, including family, church and the workplace.
An individual perpetrating corrupt practices lacks moral ground to complain about corruption.
Remember Matthew 7: 5: You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
The youth cannot hold corrupt leaders accountable if they themselves are promoting the vice they supposedly detest.
They must grow up living by example. As they transition to adulthood, they carry the values they learn in their youth and will pass them on the next generation of leaders.
Allowing them to take the lead in the fight against corruption can make a significant difference in shaping the future society they envision.
Engaging the youth is essential in curbing corruption as they are generally more open to social change and political transformation.
The responsibility to create a better generation rests with the society.
The church, civil society, parents and other agents of socialisation have a noble task to inculcate in the youth ethical values of integrity, loyalty, honesty and accountability. Enlighten them on ills of corruption.
The young people themselves need to show interest in issues of democractic governance which include accountability, transparency and integrity to become honest future leaders.
Young people can also utilise the popularity of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and other social media platforms to engage in anti-corruption initiatives. The youth have good exposure to the Internet and social media that connects them into one powerful force for social change. They can ultilise the social media to learn more about corruption and share ideas on how to prevent and combat it.
Instead of posting comments that cannot take the country forward, they can use social media to understand corruption, speak out against it, report it and help each other guard against it.
The youth remain the strongest weapon in the fight against corruption. They have inherent energy and ability to mobilise themselves. The future they deserve will be ruined if corruption is allowed to take root in our society.
Indeed, the youth need to be champions in the fight for a corruption-free Malawi. n