, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 7 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended the biometric registration of community youth engaged in National Youth Service (NYS) projects (cohorts) saying it will help guard against corruption at the bedeviled institution.
President Kenyatta who spoke in Kisumu on Sunday, said the registration will ensure that the “ghost worker,” phenomenon is a thing of the past.
“This is to ensure that only those who work are paid,” he said at stops in Obunga and Kondele.
He urged county residents to ignore those who sought to cast suspicion on the process in order to promote a political agenda.
The registration exercise commenced on January 28 in 69 constituencies where cohort projects had been running.
He also assured that the community youth empowerment programmes that stalled with the exit of NYS Director General Nelson Githinji and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, would be re-started by the start of March.
President Kenyatta in December appointed a new NYS DG, former Permanent Secretary Richard Ndubai, with instructions to make the re-start of the community youth empowerment projects a priority.
“So today, as we swear you in as the new Director General, I want to clearly state my own personal commitment to this particular agenda. I want to tell you that I wish to restart the NYS programmes within the next two months.”
Ndubai replaced Githinji who is being prosecuted for attempting to cover up the attempted theft of Sh695 million from the NYS.
Waiguru left office citing health reasons after coming under pressure to resign following the Sh695 million attempted theft and the actual theft of Sh791 million from the NYS IFMIS system; the NYS falling under the Devolution Ministry.
President Kenyatta was in Kisumu on Sunday for the launch of Mamboleo Seventh Day Adventist Church regional headquarters.
During the launch the President said he ordered the suspension of the proposed Religious Societies Rules to allow structured consultations by the church and government.
He said the rules were being introduced to deal with illicit activities of those who hide behind the Church to fleece Kenyans or perpetrate criminal activities.
“Religious leaders who con and brainwash their followers or engage in radicalisation and other dangerous doctrines belong to jail,” the President said.
During the launch and at stops on his way, President Kenyatta said political differences should come secondary to public welfare.