By HARRIET MUGO
President William Ruto’s decision to abolish the popular Kazi Mtaani programme in urban areas across the country has been defended by Kiambu governor Kimani Wamatangi.
According to Wamatangi, the president’s move was justified because the Kazi Mtaani project did not achieve its goals.
The county boss said the programme only gave the youth money to spend on alcohol while purporting to rescue them from unemployment and alcoholism.
While likening kazi mtaani programme to a similar project previously rolled out in Kiambu.
“In Kiambu, one of the governors attempted to introduce something that looked like the Kazi Mtaani program when we had the alcoholism problem among our young people. It was called Kaa Sober and he gathered all these men and sent them to the river to clean the river banks, sent them to a quarry and the roads,” said Wamatangi.
“If you want to impact our youth with skills and long-term value, this is not the way to do it. That is not the way to apply the resources that you have in your hands usefully for the gains of young people,” said Wamatangi.
President Ruto scrapped the Kazi Mtaani programme on Tuesday, saying that his government was exploring better and current employment programmes.
The project was introduced in April 2020 by former President Uhuru Kenyatta to cushion unemployed youth living in informal settlements in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ruto said the Kazi Mtaani project had low income and limited opportunities for the youth compared to his Housing proposal, which would upscale the number of youths.
“Tutapanga nafasi ya ajira ya kutosha bila kutumia vijana wetu kwenda kuokota takataka; kazi ya kuokota takataka ni ya Governor Sakaja, aokote, apeleke mahali inapelekwa,” he stated.
The commander-in-chief reassured Kibera residents that they would be given the first priority in the oncoming project, further stating that he had directed governors to plan for similar initiatives across all towns in the country.