Youths from the Kaa-sober Rehabilitation Program on Monday took to the streets of Thika Town protesting non-payment of their three months’ stipend by the county government.
The youth mainly from Kamenu ward through their Chairman James Mburu accused the County Government of failing to pay them their dues despite directing them to open accounts with a local bank three months ago.
They were rehabilitated from alcohol and substance abuse through Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s Kaa Sober initiative.
The youth lamented that they have undergone immense suffering as they entered a contract with the County Government to supplement the Kiambu County Service Delivery by providing alternative labor force as casual laborers’ but the County Government has relented on a promise to give them
Carrying placards with Haki Yetu slogans and singing anti- Waititu songs the rowdy youths caused a traffic snarl up and disrupted business at the County Government’s offices.
It took the intervention of the area security team who dispersed them and ordered them to clear the streets or be arrested for holding illegal demonstrations.
Contacted for comment a senior county government official who sought anonymity said that money had already been relayed into their respective accounts adding that contrary to what the aggrieved youths were saying the County government has only two months arrears to the sub counties since the other 6 were paid early last week.
The official revealed that the Kamenu youths took to the streets after they were told that the County would only be paying them after
verifying an attendance list as most of them were absconding duties and some of them were not attending the life skills classes currently being offered in specific schools.
The County Government recently started teaching the rehabilitated youth life skills courses whereby they are taken through a course of preference after which they will be given a lump sum amount of money to start a project of choice.
Kaa Sober initiative beneficiaries are paid a stipend of 400 shillings daily after they perform manual jobs in their respective wards.
The manual jobs include clearing bushes, cleaning and unblocking flash flood drainage systems and cleaning markets among other casual jobs.
By Tuesday evening money had started trickling into their respective accounts and the beneficiaries had started enjoying themselves in some local pubs.
By Lucy Wangai.