Police on Wednesday used teargas canisters to disperse demonstrators who had congregated at Uhuru Park to express their grievances on what they termed as unemployment crisis.
The youth in their hundreds carried placards with writing #SinajobKE and vowed to be demonstrating every Wednesday of the week so that their voices are heard by the government.
“It is overwhelming that over the last few months, over 14, 236 labourers have lost their jobs and there is no remorse and explanation from the government,” human rights activist, Waithera Wanjiru said.
Speaking on behalf of the demonstrators, Wanjiru quipped “as the economists continue to send out indicators that the numbers of the unemployed youth are bound to rise, job loses so far have hit nearly all sectors of the economy from commercial to insurance firms, manufacturing to telecommunication firms”.
She explained for example when Nakumat supermarket shut down, over 15, 000 people lost their jobs. More than 300 Sportpesa employees are currently out of jobs having been laid off recently while 400 from Betin and 120 from Mediamax have lost jobs among many others.
According to a World Bank report released last year, Kenya leads the region in youth unemployment at 17.3 per cent.
Wanjiru said that the issue of politicization of unemployment has gone beyond politicians labelling youths as thieves even as they advance their interests.
The government is also not helping, Wanjiru said claiming that it has been granting old men who should have retired jobs that could confidently by delivered by youth who were skilled.
Wanjiru further said that through corruption, a lot for resources were being lost with the money meant for youth development finding its way to the corrupt.
Meanwhile, Evans Kangangi from National Police Service, who was among the ones dispersing the crowd said the demonstration was illegal.
Most of the youths want the government to address the employment crisis saying that the Jubilee government has not lived to their promise of 1millionjobs per year that they promised in their manifesto.
By David Musungu/ Isaac Wafula