Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki launching the NYS youth empowerment program at Narok South Youth Center. She warned Opposition against politicizing the program. PHOTO: ROBERT KIPLAGAT/STANDARD
The Jubilee administration has warned opposition politicians against politicizing the National Youth Service (NYS) economic empowerment program saying it is not a campaign tool.
The Public Service and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki regretted that some Opposition leaders were on a propaganda-spree to discredit the program that is aimed at changing the lives of over 300,000 youth in 290 constituencies across the country.
Speaking at Narok South Constituency Youth Empowerment Centre during the launch of the 106th program said President Uhuru Kenyatta was passionate on youth, women and the disabled being economically independent.
Ms Kariuki said the NYS program SACCOs have so far saved up to Sh1.6Billion which is historic and will enable hundreds of thousands of youth venture into business.
“When we were registering youth for the program recently, some people claimed that we were doing parallel voter registration of youth as voters in readiness to rig the coming elections. You (youth)should desist from deceiving politics,” urged the CS.
She asked the youth to avoid being used by politicians to cause mayhem as the electioneering year beckon saying they should defend the program as it is the source of their income.
The CS said Jubilee has delivered as far as empowerment of the special groups such as youth, women and the disabled and general development and those criticizing will never stop the government for continuing with the NYS program.
“Whoever got eyes and ears have seen and heard of what Jubilee government has done. We are on course and we shall continue empowering our youth,” said Ms Kariuki.
She said there are 350 NYS Saccos where the youth will save a third of their daily wages which shall later be used as entrepreneurial capital.
The State official also decried low uptake of the interest-free loans from the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) and the Youth Enterprise Fund (YEF) and called on the responsible government officers in all the 47 counties to embark on sensitization programs.
She said there are Sh20Billion youth and women funds ready to be taken up for the youth saying through their borrowing, the funds will be able to revolve.
Ms Kariuki also took the opportunity to drum up for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election saying his development record is visible.