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Youth lobby group opposes referendum push if their issues are not factored in

A  section of Nyeri  youth have distanced themselves from the ongoing referendum debate, saying they will only support it if their plight is factored in the law review including unemployment and inclusion in leadership positions.

The youths under the banner of Youth in Governance Initiative Kenya vowed not to support any constitutional changes if they are not involved in governance in their respective counties.

In a statement read by their  Secretary General, Gakuna Njima, the group said the constitution should be amended in a way that will ensure the position of deputy governors is given to youths alone with clear roles and mandate.

This, Njima said would help address their perennial issues such as poverty and unemployment that will in turn have a positive economic impact in their lives.

They maintained that they will not be party to any reforms if they are not involved from the word go, adding that they will rally fellow youths countrywide to champion for their interest and rights.

The group also pledged its support for the Punguza Mzigo initiative by Thirdway Alliance Party that seeks to reduce the number of legislators in the Senate and National Assembly from the current 416 to 194.

“We support in entirety attempts and efforts to reduce the cost of running parliament by reducing the number of legislators in both houses,” said the group.

Njima said Kenyans were overrepresented by 400 percent and it was time the country consider going for less leaders that can execute duties effectively.

At the same time, the youths took issue with the push by legislators to effect the two-thirds gender rule, saying it will only serve to increase the wage bill that was already unsustainable burdening the tax payers more.

The initiative representative from Kieni Constituency, Daisy  Wanjiru said they were opposed to any addition of numbers to meet the gender requirement, saying already those elected had absolutely nothing to show for their positions.

“Even those we have elected have not done anything to warrant a reelection leave alone a top-up,” said Wanjiru, adding that thy will vehemently oppose such a move.

The  Group Chairman, Patrick  Mwangi, referred to as a big joke, the proposal by parliamentarians to push for higher perks.

He said it was wrong for any leader to push for a better pay when the country was trying to grapple with the ballooning wage bill that was threatening to grind to a halt any developmental projects.

The MPs are among other issues, pushing for rent-free houses, government vehicles, catering services, expanded medical covers and travel allowances.

By  Samuel  Waititu

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