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Mixed reaction over proposal of reducing retirement age

A proposal by Starehe Member of Parliament in Nairobi County Mr. Charles Jaguar to lower the retirement age for civil servants from 60 to 50 years has been lauded and faulted in equal measure by young people in Kiambu and Ndumberi townships respectively.

Speaking of KNA from Ting’ang’a  Tuesday, Moses Mwangi a 32 year old resident of Ndumberi location opposed the proposed amendment saying civil servants aged between 50 and 60 years are still energetic and focused on delivering to the government the required service.

“We always hear leaders saying that the youth should be given more chances to reduce unemployment cases among them. However, none of them make follow ups for a smooth implementing of the same. There is therefore no hope for the future of this country to be handed over solely to the youths, “Mr. Mwangi added.

William Kamande a 28 year old Kangoya resident upheld the proposal by saying that civil servants aged 50 years and above should retire to create opportunities for the unemployed youths who continue to stroll the streets of major towns being “permanent job seekers”.

“In addition, if the retirement age is dropped to 50 years, this will encourage investing among the civil servants in consideration of their future after retirement. As a result, this will lead to development of the country and also the business realized from the investments will be able to create more opportunities,” Mr. Kamande said.

Mr. Kamande therefore considered the retirement age amendment proposal as fair and considerate about the increasing percentage of unemployed youths.

In an interview by KNA in her office yesterday Jacinta Migwi the Kiambu County youths Director advised the youth to avoid the mentality that the senior civil servants were taking up the youth’s opportunities.

“Although the government was trying to create opportunities for the youth, this should not act as their defense for abundance. They should be able to work hard in order to secure their preferred positions in the job market and stop waiting for mana to drop from heaven,” Migwi said.

On his motion, MP Jaguar proposed the retirement age amendments to solve the high rate of unemployment among the youths which he said currently stands at 55 percent.

According to Jaguar, 800,000 youths are released to the job market, while only 70,000 are absorbed in the public service. The motion was listed on Wednesday but is yet to be discussed.

If the proposal is adopted, about 25,000 civil servants may have to hang their boots as those aged 50 to 60 years form the highest number of those in the service. This cadre of civil servants is spread across the junior to senior most and the salaries they draw can be used to employ double the young people who are jobless.

By Robert Muiruri

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