“Those of us in government must serve all Kenyans impartially.” This are the words of his Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta during the madaraka celebrations of 1st June 2016. He aimed at encouraging and pushing our leaders to serve their citizens without corrupt or favoritism intentions. This is contrary to what we as the youths have experienced time and again.
On the month of June, the government asked Kenyans to apply for census jobs to commence on the month of August. Given the number of unemployed youths in the country, this jobs would enable youths elevate their livelihood. For most parents, it was a relief to know that their unemployed youths would get a small breakthrough. We were to apply for three positions: ICT personnel, content supervisors and enumerators, that would suit most youths who have no sources of income but with qualifications on the exercise.
Most youths like myself, struggling to raise school fees and survive, applied. Given the qualifications jotted down on the instructions, it is only fair and valid to say that there was no way to violate them. It should be noted that these applications did not limit people by age, even so majority of those who applied were youths.
Upon submission of our credentials, we were given instructions to apply for lower positions. “you should not aim too high in such jobs, high positions will only be given to teachers and pastors well known to the chief of the area,” said the assistant chief of Gathiga, Kabete. It was shuttering for most of us having expectations of being called upon as qualified candidates fit for the exercise.
I decided to conduct a few interviews targeting youths who have previously worked with the government before to try and get clarification on my experience and sadly it confirmed my fears. Caroline Wanjiru, a resident in Nakuru and a former supervisor in the previous Huduma exercise said, “without connections, its futile to try and get fixed on such a job, unless you willing to give favors in return.”
This clearly depicts the rot that has deepened gradually in the system. Without connections or favors to equal a request for a job, Kenyan youths have been sidelined and neglected. This is despite the constant pleas by our president to support and offer jobs to our youths.
My final take on this would be, despite Kenyans having the right to practice democracy, dictatorship and corruption has gone beyond our right for justice and fairness.
Ndiba Kellen is a Print Journalism student at The University of Nairobi. Email: email@example.com