Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has been asked to tender an apology to the Kenyan youths following her statement that police would be used to crackdown Helb loan defaulters.
In a statement to newsrooms, the angered Youth Congress asked the CS to clarify that the sentiments and declare them her own and not of the government.
“We demand that the Cabinet Secretary immediately withdraws the statement and tender an appropriate apology and clarification that this does not represent the position of the government.
“Deploying police to arrest HELB defaulters is to ignore the real problem, which is unemployment. Also, the unfortunate statement amounts to criminalization of poverty,” said Raphael Odonyo, co-founder of the Youth Congress.
He further noted that instead of focusing on the arrest of the youth, the government ought to focus on taking all measures necessary to tackle employment among the young people.
According to reports, over 50 percent of graduates coming from universities in Kenya do not get immediately into the workforce while those lucky enough to be employed are either underpaid or underemployed.
However, despite the high rate of unemployment, the Constitution of Kenya clearly provides for youth employment.
Article 55 stipulates that the government ought to take measures including affirmative action programmes to ensure the youth are employed and developed.
On Thursday, Helb announced its plans to float a Ksh500 million bond in 2022 after the agency tabled a proposal to the treasury last December.
The move is expected to boost cash-flow and ease pressure on the agency that relies on the Treasury, loan repayments, grants from development partners and deals with counties and constituencies.