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President Kenyatta pledged to empower the youth during his campaign. PHOTO/File.

Kenya

Lobby group wants stand alone youth ministry

President Kenyatta pledged to empower the youth during his campaign. PHOTO/File.

President Kenyatta pledged to empower the youth during his campaign. PHOTO/File.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – The National Youth Council (NYC) is now urging president Uhuru Kenyatta to consider establishing a stand alone ministry to cater for interests of the young people as opposed to having them championed from the Arts, Culture and Sports docket.

NYC spokesman Arnold Maliba said that the youths are already facing myriad challenges which can only be addressed by an independent ministry dedicated for them.

“We do not want to go back to the days when youths, women, children and people with disabilities were all lumped up together in one corner as vulnerable groups,” he said at a media conference on Saturday.

“Give us a Ministry; we do not want to be a thematic area under an amorphous Ministry,” he stressed in the council’s petition to the president.

Maliba observed that one of the key platforms that the president used at the height of the campaigns was youth empowerment but did not create a youth ministry in his 18-minsitries cabinet structure unveiled on Thursday.

In the 18-ministries structure, Kenyatta placed the youth under the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts.
He also took issue with plans to merge the Youth Fund with the Women’s Fund.

“The Women Fund has been working very well so when you move the problems in the Youth Fund to the Women Fund you will be devolving problems,” he warned.

He further asked the president not to set up another Youth Fund but to strengthen the existing one.

“He (the president) is taking over a country that may not be perfect but will he throw away the country and come up with another one? He wouldn’t. He would actually make the country work so let him make the Fund work,” he argued.

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The Council said it is also opposed to a proposal that funds meant for youth be distributed at the constituency level.

“Parliament’s role is and remains legislation, oversight and representation. Giving them functions like monetary distribution is undermining the spirit of the Constitution,” read the Council’s statement.

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