, MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug 28 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the recruitment of youth at the Coast into the National Youth Service empowerment programme, paving way for employment of tens of thousands.
He said the recruitment should be conducted in every constituency in the region to ensure the youth a chance to take part in the NYS projects that are also going on in several parts of the country.
President Kenyatta singled out Mombasa Old Town as an area where implementation of the NYS project should start, saying the project will train the youth in skills that will enable them to earn a livelihood.
“This project is not aimed at benefitting only a few areas, but the whole country. I look forward to joining the youth in the clean up exercise in the Old Town of Mombasa,” President Kenyatta said.
The programme, which has benefitted the youth in Kibera, Kisumu and Thika, among other areas, entails clean up exercises, construction of health centres, roads and even police posts.
The Head of State was speaking Friday during a meeting with the Coast Parliamentary Group members at State House, Mombasa. The meeting, which discussed the region’s development agenda, was attended by 26 Members of Parliament and several Members of County Assemblies, from the region.
The President said the NYS will help curb most of the challenges arising from unemployment, including terrorism, drug abuse and radicalisation.
He also asked Coast MPs to work with the Regional Commander and Regional Commissioner to start a crackdown on drug traffickers from Tuesday next week. The President said MPs and their constituents know who the peddlers are and should expose them.
The directive is similar to the one against second-generation brews in central Kenya. It has led to the closure of illicit brew dens and the rehabilitation of thousands of youth.
President Kenyatta affirmed the government’s commitment to address the land problem in the region and ordered Acting Lands Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, who was present, to immediately issue 144,000 title deeds that are ready. This is the second phase of the issuance of land ownership documents by the Jubilee Government to Coast residents. The first time was in August 2013.
He said his administration targets to issue 3 million title deeds within its first term in office.
The President also assured Likoni residents that the Waitiki farm dispute is being finalised and the squatters will be settled soon.
Matiang’i disclosed that the first phase survey of the farm has been completed.
As the government moves to address the land problem in the region, President Kenyatta warned politicians against creating “professional squatters”.
“As leaders, let us be responsible and ensure we do not incite people to invade private property in the name of squatting because the Government has shown its determination to assist genuine squatters,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State also outlined the development projects the government is implementing at the Coast, ranging from road improvement and construction of the Standard Gauge Railway to the expansion of the Mombasa port.
Coast leaders – led by Coast Parliamentary Group chairman Gideon Mung’aro – assured the President of the region’s support, saying that people have seen the development projects the government has implemented in the region.
Mung’aro said people at the Coast want to be “shareholders in the Government and not stakeholders”, emphasising that come 2017 all votes from the region will go to Jubilee.
Other speakers included Mvita Member of Parliament Abdulswamad Nassir, Mombasa Woman Representative Mishi Mboko, Kilifi Woman Representative Aisha Jumwa, Garsen MP Ibrahim Sane and Lamu East MP Sharif Ali Athuman.