The Government Spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna has said that the high cost of living currently experienced in the country should not be blamed on the government.
He stated that there are factors that have led to the upsurge in the prices of essential commodities which are not under the government’s control.
“The cost of living is heavy on everybody but should not be blamed on the President as he is not responsible. What is happening today has been caused by other factors including prolonged drought and locust invasion in some parts of the country.
For about two years now the country has been combatting locust invasion which has in the long run affected the yields. These two factors when combined together result in poor harvests,” Oguna said.
“Covid-19 has also contributed in such a way that we lost jobs, revenue, companies closed down and even our biggest foreign exchange earner which is the tourism industry was adversely affected and up until now it has not recovered fully. This in turn affected the value of shilling,” added the Spokesperson.
Col Oguna said the war between Ukraine and Russia, Kenya’s suppliers of commodities like wheat and crude oil, has further contributed to the situation by creating a shortage in their supply.
Oguna spoke on Wednesday during a youth empowerment forum in Homa Bay town to enlighten them on the countrywide government empowerment programmes and funding.
“The government has availed a lot of programmes to empower the youth but unfortunately they shun them for handouts from politicians. Programmes like the National Government Internship programme for youths who are out of the university, Ajira digital program, Uwezo funds among others are meant to empower you economically,” Oguna said.
He encouraged the youths to take advantage of Technical and Vocational Education Training Institutions (TVETs) saying that the government has introduced a Sh30,000 capitation funds meant to cater for more than half of the TVETs fee requirement to help even the less fortunate to get trained.
“There is hope for everyone and TVETs are technically free and are there to fill the gap for those who did not attend school. On top of the capitation fund, there are also HELB loans from the government to cover for the remaining fee when one is unable to top up on the 30,000 shillings capitation,” he said.
Oguna regretted that most youths have the wrong perception that TVETs are for failures and that they tend to shun these institutions.
“The government has empowered these institutions to give more advanced programmes than before. TVETs have the ability to make you a better plumber and a mechanic for that matter,” he said.
On the coming election, the spokesperson asked the youths to uphold peace before, during and after the polls and added that they should not be used as tools by politicians to create havoc and unrest in the county.
“Always uphold peace in this period of election. Do not elect leaders because of a 200 shillings handout but rather vote on the basis of one’s agenda which will benefit you as the youth of this county. Listen to them and let them convince you with their agenda and not the handouts,” he advised.
The Spokesperson was accompanied by Homa Bay Deputy County Commissioner Jude Wasonga and County Director for Youth, Elector Opar.
Opar thanked the spokesperson for enlightening the youth who had a lot of misconceptions about the government.
“Most of the youths were of the opinion that the government has done nothing for them because they were unaware of all the opportunities provided for them. Today, Mr. Oguna has made it clear and made them understand that most of the programmes out there are actually run by the government,” Opar said.
She further asked the youths not to vote with their hearts in the coming elections but rather, they should make wise decisions in choosing leaders.
By Sitna Omar