University students in Kitui County have urged Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), Amina Mohamed to withdraw arrest threats she issued last week against Higher Education Loans Board loans defaulters.
Addressing the press at Kwa Vonza Trading Centre on Tuesday, student leaders from Kenyatta University Kitui Campus and South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) termed the CS’s threat insensitive given the prevailing unemployment rates among the youth.
The KU students’ association president, Brian Makau said lack of jobs among graduates had greatly contributed to the defaults and urged the State to first address the unemployment menace before going after those yet to repay their loans.
“How does CS Amina Mohamed expect us to repay HELB loans when we can hardly secure jobs? Let the Jubilee government first create the one million jobs for the youth promised in 2013 campaigns,” noted Makau.
Echoing Makau’s sentiments, SEKU students’ Association chairman, Ole Nguruna Lesiamon blamed non repayment of higher education loans of financial difficulties among university graduates.
“It must be understood that no beneficiary intends to default but lack of gainful employment has left loanees hopeless and helpless. All we need is jobs and the government won’t need to threaten us with prosecution,” he emphasized.
Mohamed, last Wednesday said Helb would collaborate with the police and employers to track down 74, 000 beneficiaries of the education funding who have failed to service their loans.
Warning the defaulters would be arrested and jailed, the CS lamented that HELB was yet to recover about sh.7.2 billion from the loan defaulters.
By Yobesh Onwong’a