Labour Day
Unemployed Kenyans hold placards on the side of the road clinging on the faith that someone will spot them and give them a job. Unemployment numbers in Kenya doubled in Q2 2020.

Like a fish in water, Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino looked at home while hosting select student leaders at the August House.

The lawmaker, himself a former student leader, appeared to be affording ‘fellow comrades’ opportunities to share the media spotlight, spurring on as many as were willing to speak while the cameras were rolling.

If he manages to grant similar opportunities to numbers of unemployed youth, then he might end up being a rare breed of politician who actually promises and delivers.

“As a leader, I will try to fight to create job opportunities for youth in this nation,” said Babu Owino.

The parliamentarian was speaking on April 30 when the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association hosted a select group of student leaders from some of the country’s universities.

Babu Owino, who is also the Secretary General of the Johnson Sakaja led KYPA, expressed disappointment at what he termed as the omission of youth during the State of the Nation address by President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 4. “The President never talked about matters youth. I think it wasn’t a good show.”

With a day to Labour Day, the Embakasi East MP was amid student leaders who said that corruption was stifling potential employment opportunities for youth.

Recently elected University of Nairobi student head Anne Mvurya said, “When there is corruption in the country, youth won’t get opportunities to be able to stand firm and also make something of themselves.”

She was defiant that majority of university students are being churned out year after year, but they’re not getting jobs, citing this as potential reasons for the rise of mental depression among youth.

Daystar University student president Aloys Otieno agreed with her. “If we put emphasis on creating jobs in this country, we’ll avoid a lot of mental health problems that we are seeing today.”

Otieno added that an increase in corruption was leading to adverse effects in societal attitude. “When youth look at news on TV everyday and all they see is corruption, this becomes what they constantly think about and when a person like that begins to think that, what you see is negativity coming out of it.”

Also present was Joshua Aika, Kenyatta University student president and head of the Kenya Universities Students Organisation (KUSO).

Aika said that KUSO was honoured to be hosted by Babu Owino so as to engage on matters corruption and unemployment affecting the youth.

The student leaders said, “As student leaders, we are behind President Uhuru Kenyatta and His Excellency Raila Odinga in the fight against corruption. We urge them to keep moving forward.”

Recently, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) released an economic survey that propagated that Kenya produced 840,000 jobs in 2018.

“As we celebrate Labour Day and the strides Kenya has made in getting jobs, we should also remember the youth,” said Mvurya.



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