Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Silence is Deafening - Young People's Participation in Civic Affairs in Kenya

I don't think the Ministry of Youth Affairs in the persons of the Minister and the Permanent secretary are serving the interest of Young People in Kenya. Everything at the Ministry is now a circus between the minister and the rest of the people.

We deserve better as the young people of Kenya. I think we have a right to call for the sacking of the four people in charge of the Ministry (The Minister, The two assistant Ministers and the Permanent Secretary. The Ministry requires a total overhaul. It is a shame to the Kenyan youth.

It is high time young people started feeling the services of the Ministry. They are not at the moment. We need a call to action on this.


On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 5:28 PM, sonia rasugu <> wrote:
I share in Ronnie's sentiments.

There is so much "wrong" going on, on the one hand, and all the facade
about how things are getting better on the other.

There's all TALK about reform and attempts at evidence of how this is
working well, and all the white collar robbery on the other.

There's the recession and high inflation going on, and yet there seems
to be lots of money in circulation among a few.

And in all this, young people are clearly identified as the makers of
Kenya today and tomorrow.

In 2005, new Government demonstrated its commitment to prioritizing
youth affairs by establishing the Ministry Youth Affairs.  The
Ministry has since grown in size and in representation around the
country.  In spite of the many shortcomings young people identify in
the capacity of the youth officers to address the numerous needs,
there have been some benefits to having youth officers in divisions
and districts. I am aware of efforts to increase and improve the
capacity of youth officers to support young people and be more

In 2007, Government launched the Youth Enterprise Development Fund.
With KShs 1 Billion, it hoped to create new jobs through youth-led
small scale enterprises countrywide. The constituency based fund
(C-YES) has lots of weaknesses in terms of structure and
accountability; it has benefitted those young entrepreneurs who were
focussed and skilled enough to use that "little" KShs 47, 500 and some
now have access to KShs 100, 000 from the constituency fund while
others qualify to access loans from financial institutions. TThis is
progress. The larger loans from financial institutions also have
accountability issues and worse still are not known to be accessible
to several young entrepreneurs, even in urban areas.

In 2008, the launch of the non-starter, poorly planned (actually not
planned at all!) and very poorly executed Kazi kwa Vijana programme.
Ironically, there are countries in the modern World (and not the post
2nd World War Germany for infrastructure reconstruction on which KKV
was modelled), countries like Phillipines that have instituted a
vocational/apprenticeship programme that works. If only KKV
implementers were truly committed to supporting creation of employment
and sustainable infrastructure development they would have given more
thought to ensure widespread benefits to individual youth and

In this Forum, we consistently highlight the importance of good
leadership for Kenya's prosperity.  When it comes to youth affairs,
leadership by youth organizations, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and
the Youth Fund Board are critical. If there were youth involved in the
design and executive of KKV, clearly they did not serve young people's

The Ministry of Youth Affairs had leadership in the late PS Murugu.
His absence is felt - love him or not.  The new PS, is yet to
demonstrate the enthusiam, vigour and passion for youth development
that the late Murugu espoused. So we wait to see.
When Hon Minister Hellen Sambili was named Minister of Youth Affairs
and Sports in 2007, we did the same, "wait and see" . And now, it's
unbelievable to see how much chaos she seems to be courting in sports
and most recently in youth affairs.

Last week, she reinstated the CEO of the Youth Fund who had been
dismissed by the Fund Board in May 2009. Her basis for his
reisnstatement was a tentative report from KACC saying he was "clean"
of any deals on Enablis - remember the "scandal that never was" of 600
billion from Canadian based Enablis.

From the statement it turns out that he was dismissed for various
other reasons - and the Enablis deal was not among them.

The statement by the Youth Fund Board leaves it to you to determine
the integrity of the Youth Enterprise Fund Board, made of young
professionals. I think this is leadership - a little too late - they
could have sorted it out when he was running around media houses
saying he was being "targetted"; but they stand their ground.

The statement is here attached. It is two pages and very long.

But I must ask,
1. if we are to assess leadership of the Ministry of Youth Affairs
what would you say have been Hon Sambili's achievements in promoting
youth affairs/issues at the national and international level?
2. What have been the benefits of the establishment of the Ministry of
Youth Affairs (national HQ to the divisional and district youth
3. And the Youth Fund?

Hoping to share in your thoughts.


On 10/27/09, Ronnie <> wrote:
> Comrades,
> We are being chocked to a slow death. It doesn't help that we were already on the death bed when they started chocking us.
> The statistics in regards to the youth are clear for all of us and I will not belabour the point here. However, let me say this, we are filling up the jails of Kenya, we are now suffering diseases that were previously the preserve of the old, we are going to the grave in equal measure as we are being born, we are filling the streets of our cities looking for jobs, we are being worn down by the burdens of the older generation. We are the youth of Kenya. And yet every single initiative that we have fought for over the years is being trashed and we remain silent.
> Kazi kwa Vijana has ground to a halt, the Ministry of Youth is defunct thanks to a moribund Minister, the Youth Fund is now locked in ego wars, Ministry of Finance and that of Planning are rethinking the stimulus programme that would have benefited us and we remain silent.
> Our leaders are waiting for 2012 when they will again come back to us to offer them 'protection' for a fee and whip up the vote for them. And where the vote will not be going their way, they will count on us to 'teach a lesson' to their detractors.
> We are busy talking about Kalonzo Musyoka, William Ruto, Raila Odinga, Mwai Kibaki and even Maina Njenga. All men who are extremely wealthy with no care for the rest of the world.
> We cannot afford to keep talking. We cannot afford to sit back anymore and wait for things to fall into place. We must take destiny into our own hands.
> My cry is that we shall start seeing agitation from the grassroots. If we cannot live in comfort, then our so called leaders must not live in comfort. For as long as we remained worried about our tomorrow, they must remain worried about their tomorrow.
> Rise up and let us pressure them to move with us or move out of the way!
> Ronnie

1 comment:

  1. We have heard of something called a midas touch. Minister Sambili appears to be the opposite of Midas. Everything she touches becomes a mess from the Stadia board to Coca cola stadium to athletics and now youth fund. the fund was relatively peaceful until she touched it. Why not sack her?