, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 10 – The National Youth Forum has announced plans to mobilise demonstrations countrywide to force the government to declare youth unemployment a national disaster.
The group’s Political and Development Adviser Jeremiah Ambasah told Capital FM News that last they had already given President Mwai Kibaki 14 days within which he should declare unemployment a national disaster since Sunday last week.
“We have called on the president to declare unemployment a national disaster because once he does that, resources will be put together to help create jobs. This will even make it easier for the president because all stakeholders will be thinking alike,” Ambasah said.
He said upon the expiry of 14 days next Sunday, the forum will rally the youth to demonstrate and demand urgent action to save the youth.
And should the President fail to declare unemployment a national disaster, the youth leaders said they will collect 1 million signatures to call for a referendum to have an amendment that will force the government to declare unemployment a national disaster whenever it gets to 7 percent.
“There is no reason why it should not be declared a national disaster at 7 percent, it will be a red flag that requires urgent action,” he said.
The Forum’s Secretary General Ngacha Njeri regrets that even Presidential candidates campaigning to succeed President Kibaki in next year’s general election have not outlined adequate measures of curbing unemployment which currently stands at 62 per cent if elected.
The high rate of unemployment in the country has been blamed for increased insecurity cases by emerging gangs, particularly in most urban centres—including Mombasa and Kisumu where security agencies are grappling with the challenge of MRC and two other gangs in the lakeside city.
Youth Forum Secretary General Ngacha Njeri regretted that Kenyan leaders were less concerned even with an embarrassing record of 62 percent of unemployment whereas countries like the United States and the United Kingdom make unemployment.
He said the youth will reject election pacts being made without involving and focusing on young people who are the most economically deprived of their rights.
“What do the politicians have for the people when they are thinking of how to share power?,” he posed and added that “ We will not support any power pacts that are not issues based, they need to reflect on how they intend to tackle unemployment among the youth.”
Njeri is mostly agitated that presidential hopefuls have not yet outlined how they intend to tackle youth unemployment which a major plague that has highly contributed to high poverty levels in the country.
Lately, Kenya’s security has been under serious threat following the emergence of illegal groups that have led to criminal activities.
Theft, robberies and murders have been on an upward trend lately, particularly in Kisumu.