Senate Deputy Speaker, Prof. Kithure Kindiki has asked Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), Dr. Amina Mohamed to go slow on individuals who have defaulted on Higher Education Loans’ Board (HELB) loans.
Prof. Kindiki who is the Tharaka Nithi Senator instead asked government to establish a kitty for providing graduates with seed capital to start business in a bid to curb the ballooning number of unemployed youths.
He faulted the CS for threatening to have HELB loan defaulters jailed, arguing that the government should first help the graduates secure jobs.
Prof. Kindiki said while demanding repayment from the beneficiaries of the loan, the government should first establish if they are employed or not.
“There is no need harassing young people who have not secured jobs but government should rather assist them get employed,” Prof. Kindiki told reporters at Ruungu market in Tharaka constituency.
The Ministry of Education recently disclosed that some Sh.7.2 billion was yet to be recovered from the loan defaulters and that law enforcement officers could be used to bring the culprits to book.
Prof. Kindiki said the seed capital will go a long way in creating self-employment for the youth and also increasing the number of those repaying the loans.
He noted graduates especially from technical institutions will be able to buy basic equipment, start income generating projects and repay the money within the required time.
The legislator commended the ongoing war on corruption and urged the government to focus on recovering billions that have been stolen from public coffers and channel the same to programmes that will enable graduates have startup capital.
“It is very disheartening to see the country lose billions of shillings to a few corrupt individuals. The government should focus on recovering the money and sealing all the loopholes and channeling the money to programmes that assist graduates get employment,” he added.
The senator expressed the need for expanding the economy to absorb as many graduates as possible both in formal and the informal sector.
By Kenneth Marangu