Babu Owino always keeps the public guessing. The politician was a topic of discussion yesterday (20.08.2019) after a careless comment had him compare sex to betting.
Former student leader Babu Owino knows how to get attention, and his most recent comments and series of revelations are another ploy to align himself with the so-called ‘plight of the youth’. Owino called a press conference where he addressed members of the fourth estate yesterday disapproving of C.S Matiang’ i’s suspension of betting licenses. The suspension comes after a ruling earlier in the year that lifted the ban on celeb betting endorsements as reported on The Sauce.
Cabinet Secretary Matiang’ i’s suspension did not seat well with Owino. And in a presser, he revealed that the suspension will see many Kenyan youths lose jobs, as well as a means to supplement their income. The Member of Parliament claimed “so many youths have been complaining, crying, and gnashing their teeth for not getting sufficient or enough money to pay their fee. This betting was assisting in the provision of employment. Those people who were employed in various betting companies, those people are now jobless. Where will they get jobs? The youths that were using this opportunity to pay fees, where will they get the money from?”
The Embakasi East representative went on to point out that he will be planning a peaceful protest against the recent betting license suspensions. He said, “Let it be known to the Cabinet Secretary that from next week, we are going to mobilize youths in this nation. Gor Mahia fans come out, A.F.C fans come out, we are going to peacefully demonstrate against you…because we know that there is specific interest.” The Nairobi University alumni went on to share that he managed to pay his fees thanks to his winnings from betting. He said, “Personally betting company assisted me in paying my school fee. I graduated from my Archuturial Science degree because of betting…so there is nothing that we can be told that betting is bad.”
MP Babu Owino slams CS Matiang'i over the suspension of betting licences. pic.twitter.com/I46R8oqVTv
— Daily Nation (@dailynation) August 20, 2019
Unfortunately, many tweeps do not agree with the outspoken leader. Some members of K.O.T that the local leader was speaking out of turn. One said, “I no longer know who these MPs represent anymore”, @simonkipkoec8 wrote, “We elected them to go and bet in parliament? Betting is worse than drugs. You can’t justify this evil. ”
“Any form of gambling can never make you rich, period”, another pointed out.
A more considered thought was shared by @HerHistoryAfrica where she questioned his motives. She wrote, “It’s funny to watch ‘youthful’ Mps sing a song about betting after private companies lobby for their support but will do nothing to address the unemployment and disenfranchisement that is getting young people addicted to betting. Whose interests are you all promoting.”
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2018 data, 7 million Kenyans are unemployed and out of this 1.4 million have been desperately looking for work. Our survey found that the highest proportion (40%) of the low-income gambling consumer is unemployed, and a third (29%) are students. When posed with the argument that betting is an addictive vice affecting the Kenyan youth, Owino went on the defensive. In even more outrageous claims, Owino said: “everything is addictive even sex.”
— The Standard Digital (@StandardKenya) August 20, 2019
The Ford Foundation honoree was feted by the international non-profit organization for his work championing the students’ welfare both before he was elected as an MP and after as earlier reported by The Sauce earlier this month. However, it seems that Owino has not changed much from his earlier days slapping other Members of Parliament, now he just hurls words at others to push forward is agenda.
According to a report on Business Daily published in February 2019, “Betting and sports-related sites dominated the top internet search queries in Kenya in 2018, a new report showed, pointing to a gambling craze in the country. A massive 11 of the top 20 Google search queries were directly related to betting, according to an annual report for 2019 by Hootsuite and We Are Social.”
“SportPesa, a leading betting site, emerged at the top of most searched topics. Among the top sports, gambling-related sites that featured in the list include Livescore at number 3, Betpawa at number 5, Betin at number 7, Prediction at number 8, Betika at 9 and SportPesa Login at number 10. The report also noted that while in other countries the frequency of betting was once a month, in Kenya it’s once a week, a sign that young people could become gambling addicts.”