FORMER Secretary General for the Popular Democratic Movement Youth League(PDMYL) Benson Katjirijova says although he was removed as the youth league’s leader due to his age late last year, no law compelled him to exit the position.
Katjirojova, who is turning 40-years-old this year has been PDMYL Secretary General since 2012. The party’s Secretary General Manuel Ngaringobe announced that the party has resorted to disbanding all it’s regional executive committees and restructuring them, with immediate effect.
Katjiriova confirmed that the decision to remove him on the basis of age came from the party’s top six management, including it’s President McHenry Venaani.
“I’m not obligated to leave the position because of my age, although our party constitution indicates that once a person is 35 years old they are no longer a youth. Being over that age does not however mean you should leave office. There is no such law. However, I agreed to exit the Youth league on instructions of my seniors. This is to pave the way for the young ones to the benefit of the party. I did not leave before because I wanted to do a handover at a Congress, for the people who voted for me, but after the top six met and decided, I agreed to just leave,” he said.
Asked whether he believes he overstayed, Katjirijova said he did not overstay”It hasn’t even been over five years. If it was, perhaps then you would say I overstayed.”.
“As a leader, it is not about you or your emotions but about the party. I welcome my seniors’ decision”, he said
Yvette Araes is now the PDMYL’s current acting secretary general.
Reflecting on his legacy for the youth league, he says “I found the Youth League without a constitution and without a structure. So when I started I formed the structures.I came with a draft (constitution) and implemented it. We then amended the constitution we had when I started between 2012 to 2015 to the one we currently have. While the party had two seats in parliament, during my leadership we shifted to five seats. I was also the campaign manager for Venaani when he took over from the former President Katuutire Kaura. I’m very happy with our successes. We even have young members in parliament now,” Katjirijova said.