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Parliament accused of posing problem to the youth

Youth  in  Kiambu County  have complained of inadequate representation in Parliament, saying the laws they passed  were oppressive and non-responsive to their needs.

They  cited the HELB Act that imposes a Sh.5, 000 penalty to university loan defaulters, saying it was not only punitive but also affected their creditworthiness.

Speaking  during a County  Youth  Leadership Forum in Ruiru town on Wednesday, the youngsters said Parliament should pass youth friendly  laws meant to protect and provide them with economic opportunities.

The  laws, they said, should be centered on creation of industries, jobs and internship programmes as well as ensuring that empowerment opportunities such as the 30 percent procurement rule are observed.

“For  example, there  should be a law barring civil servants from undertaking temporarily jobs like the forthcoming population census. Such  jobs should be a preserve of the unemployed youth. But when we compete with teachers and other senior government officials for these  jobs, do we stand a chance?” posed Maina Karobia, a Ruiru resident.

Other  laws said to be working against the youth, include requirement to have various documents such as good conduct, CRB clearance, HELB  clearance certificates among others before one gets a job, which are not only expensive to apply but also time consuming.

The  MPs  who  attended the event led by Nominated Senator, Isaak  Mwaura called on the government to direct that civil servants be barred  from undertaking some of the temporary jobs that may occasionally arise in government.

They  said  civil servants are on government’s payroll and that they should get contented with the salaries they earn.

His sentiments were echoed by Nominated MP, Gideon  Keter  and Molo MP, Kimani Kuria  who told government to support the youth through these empowerment programmes like census jobs to enable them get capital to engage in meaningful projects.

On  the  HELB  Act, Keter said they were working on amendments to reduce interest rates and scrap penalties on university loans and will mobilize their colleagues to save hundreds of youth from the agony.

“I  was given  only Sh.80, 000 and up to now, I’m still repaying. I know several people going through the same predicament. HELB loan is meant  to  empower and not to punish job seekers. We hope to get the numbers in parliament to pass an amendment to scrap the penalties,” said the nominated MP.

By  Muoki  Charles

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