A Section of youths from Kibra has lauded president William Ruto for abolishing Kazi Mtaani, an initiative designed to cushion the most vulnerable youth in the informal settlements from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at DC Grounds, the youths alleged Kazi Mtaani, launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta, was mulled with corruption, denying deserving youths in Kibra an opportunity to benefit from the scheme.
Led by Yakub Jaffar, founder of Kibra Green Movement, the youths stated that they could not secure slots in Kazi mtaani as they were not aligned with a political outfit that was deemed fit when president Kenyatta was in power.
“To be clear, during the election period when one was not supporting Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, they could not secure a chance,” he alleged.
Yakub also claimed some youths were pushed to campaign for ODM party in Kibra constituency. Those that failed, according to Yakub, were disqualified from the project, claims that have been downplayed by Edwin Agallo, ODM’s youth representative in Kibra.
“There is no day leaders benefited other than the money they were paid as supervisors, which the government had allocated for them.” Said Ogallo adding that the ODM party was not in government to favor other people as alluded to by Yakub.
Agallo stated that youths were the greatest beneficiaries in the project and supervisor slots were reserved for youths in Kibra, only that they (Supervisors) got an extra Ksh. 300 compared to what the other workers got.
Richard Lunyasi, a resident in Kibra-Lindi, slammed the decision to scrap the project, hinting that there is a likelihood of youths joining criminal gangs should there be no alternative.
“Kazi Mtaani helped us a lot. Now that the president has called it off, we will have to look for other possible means how we can generate income” he said.
In what appears to be a ‘game-changer’, president William Ruto instead announced that qualified youths in Kibra shall be employed as part of the workforce in the Soweto East Zone B Social Housing Programme, a move that has been welcomed by the Kibra Green Movement leader.
“We also intend to work closely with other elected leaders to make the procurement process as transparent as possible,” Jaffar affirmed stressing the need for inclusion of all youths in the project.
Ruth Akinyi, a resident in Sarang’ombe, however, asked president Ruto’s government to ensure women are employed in the housing project unlike before when men dominated the workforce.
Speaking on 25th October 2022 during the groundbreaking ceremony, president Ruto termed Kazi mtaani outdated, insisting his administration will focus on affordable housing projects where youths will be engaged.
“We have plans for our young people who reside here and I understand you have a problem with unemployment and I assure you that in this housing project, all of you will be involved and you will not only earn a living from it but you will also have a dignified place to call homes,” Ruto said, hinting that hygiene and beautification projects where youths were initially recruited to plant trees and collect garbage will be undertaken by the Nairobi County Government.
Editted by Henix Obuchunju