Youths from across Kiambu County have expressed their displeasure over the recent appointment of old guards to top government positions saying they were locked out of employment opportunities.
The re-appointment of senior citizens has sparked an outcry among the youth who felt betrayed despite their desperate attempts to get employment in the public sector at a time when such opportunities were limited in a country where majority of the young population were jobless.
The ballooning wage bill and the snowballing debt burden has set the stage for higher taxation that has pushed the production sectors to lay off workers and further making life for the graduates hitting the job seeking market appear bleak.
Both the national and county governments have switched on budget cuts but the austerity measures have not meant to create openings for jobs seekers.
According to Wilson Tao, a youth representative from Juja sub-county who shared with Kenya News Agency the grave reality of the harsh economic times the youth in the country were going through, the unemployment crisis was a time bomb in waiting.
He says the youth feel dejected and hopeless when the very system entrusted with sorting their problem was offering retirees jobs at the expense of the young and productive members of the society.
He said the youth were denied an opportunity to get exposed and gain the very experience most job offers demand as a prequalification criteria arguing that it would be impossible for youth to take leadership roles in the future if the trend continued.
“As much as these old folks have the experience in their areas of appointment, we the youths also have the energy as well as the brains to take up such chances and we should not be sidelined,” he said.
In line with that, Mr. Tao also added that it’s not always about experience, people should be made to blend the old and the new because as much as people might brush off the youths from such top government positions, some of them have brilliant ideas that can be incorporated by both the local and national government.
Meanwhile, another 25 year old Dennis Kariuki a second hand clothes dealer from Kirigiti, made a big fuss from the re-appointment of older people to top positions by the government.
It’s so frustrating that we try our best to elect youth leaders to represent us in the government and yet they have gone silent on the whole scandal as the trend continues to unveil. “So many youths have been rendered and stripped off their opportunities at places of work created for them by senior members of the nation.” he said.
He therefore, urged youth representatives at the County level to ensure that the cries of the unemployed youths have been heard this time round so as to make any amendments in the future.
Commenting on the plight of the young people, the county director for Youth Ms Jacinta Migwi talking to KNA from Kiambu advised them to start small. “When you start small and you are serious with a particular job in mind, you will succeed. We have seen many who started there and they succeeded” She said young people should stop focusing of those jobs at the highest level as they required experience which they did not have.
The director told them to be ready to do any job without being selective and also have a positive mind in what they chose to do.
By Lydia Shiloya and Alba Nakuwa