Friday, May 17, 2013

Give youth more positions, Uhuru urged

Youth Agenda chairman Hussein Mohammed (left), CEO Susan Mwongera (centre) and 4Cs Paddy Onyango confer during a forum at the KICC, Nairobi May 17, 2013. Mr Mohammed urged President Kenyatta to give the youth more positions in government. JENNIFER MUIRURI.

Youth Agenda chairman Hussein Mohammed (left), CEO Susan Mwongera (centre) and 4Cs Paddy Onyango confer during a forum at the KICC, Nairobi May 17, 2013. Mr Mohammed urged President Kenyatta to give the youth more positions in government. JENNIFER MUIRURI.  

By LILLIAN ONYANGO laonyango@ke.nationmedia.com

President Uhuru Kenyatta should give the youth more positions in government, a lobby said Friday.

Youth Agenda chairman Hussein Mohammed said though the recent Cabinet appointees were perceived to youthful, they do not fall within the 18-35 age bracket prescribed by the Constitution.

“We appreciate that one could be above 35 and have a youthful mind-set but this does not mean that there are no individuals below that age who can do the job,” he told journalists in Nairobi,

He said the appointing authority is capable of selecting competent leaders within that age bracket who can be persuaded to join the public service.

Mr Mohammed was speaking at the National Elected and Nominated Youth Leaders Forum organised by the Youth Agenda at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.

He took issue with President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto’s decision to do away with a Ministry for the youth, in reference to the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.

“This government has made a big departure from youth matters and this is great concern to us because certain programmes or initiatives for youth might be diluted in that process,” he said.

"We are still watching and not everything that they have done so far is wrong. There are still a lot of opportunities, in terms of appointments, that are coming up and we want more young people especially ladies to be considered for these positions."

The Youth Agenda forum was attended by youth newly elected and nominated into political leadership positions.

The group celebrated its achievements in the March General Election which saw 430 youth take up elective positions: 394 County Representatives, 25 Members of the National Assembly, 11 Senators, 10 Women Representatives and one Governor all under the age of 35.

Youth Agenda CEO Susan Mwongera said Kenya’s political process has often been skewed in favour of the old, rich and well-networked persons.

“We expect some of these problems to be addressed legally through enactment of the Campaign Finance bill, fair political party nomination processes and enforceable affirmative action clauses,” she said.

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