Parliament Accused Of Posing Problem To The Youth

Youth in Kiambu County have complained of inadequate representation in Parliament, saying the laws they passed were oppressive and non-responsive to their needs.

They cited the HELB Act that imposes a Sh.5, 000 penalty to university loan defaulters, saying it was not only punitive but also affected their creditworthiness.

Speaking during a County Youth Leadership Forum in Ruiru town on Wednesday, the youngsters said Parliament should pass youth friendly laws meant to protect and provide them with economic opportunities.

The laws, they said, should be centered on creation of industries, jobs and internship programmes as well as ensuring that empowerment opportunities such as the 30 percent procurement rule are observed.

For example, there should be a law barring civil servants from undertaking temporarily jobs like the forthcoming population census. Such jobs should be a preserve of the unemployed youth. But when we compete with teachers and other senior government officials for these jobs, do we stand a chance? posed Maina Karobia, a Ruiru resident.

Other laws said to be working against the youth, include requirement to have various documents such as good conduct, CRB clearance, HELB clearance certificates among others before one gets a job, which are not only expensive to apply but also time consuming.

The MPs who attended the event led by Nominated Senator, Isaak Mwaura called on the government to direct that civil servants be barred from undertaking some of the temporary jobs that may occasionally arise in government.

They said civil servants are on government’s payroll and that they should get contented with the salaries they earn.

His sentiments were echoed by Nominated MP, Gideon Keter and Molo MP, Kimani Kuria who told government to support the youth through these empowerment programmes like census jobs to enable them get capital to engage in meaningful projects.

On the HELB Act, Keter said they were working on amendments to reduce interest rates and scrap penalties on university loans and will mobilize their colleagues to save hundreds of youth from the agony.

I was given only Sh.80, 000 and up to now, I’m still repaying. I know several people going through the same predicament. HELB loan is meant to empower and not to punish job seekers. We hope to get the numbers in parliament to pass an amendment to scrap the penalties, said the nominated MP.

Source: Kenya News Agency