TUNE HAS CHANGED

If state was really for the youth, jobless numbers would fall

'Youth can' ruse has been poorly guarded to hide the ugly intentions of politicians

In Summary

• Perhaps, unknown to Kenyans, 'the youth' is just but a catchphrase being peddled at the convenience of politicians. 

• Youthful President was supposed to help the youth 'who are the movers and shapers' but has instead left them with the shorter end of the stick. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta
ONE MILLION JOBS FOR THE YOUTH: President Uhuru Kenyatta
Image: FILE

Political campaigns in Kenya have always been portrayed as youth-centred or purported to be so; even the ruse has been poorly guarded to hide the ugly intentions of the politicians.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, other presidential contenders and the past power holders have in their respective times portrayed the youth as the movers and shapers of their administrations. But once in power, the tune has always changed for reasons varying from one to another.

President Kenyatta, who had the enviable chance of proving that ‘the youth can’, has instead improved the charted path that always leaves the youth with the shorter end of the stick. But perhaps, unknown to Kenyans, ‘the youth’ is just but a catchphrase being peddled at the convenience of politicians who have contributed to the former’s impoverishing and are finding them an easy target to ‘use and dump’.

For instance, the President recently rejected and returned the Finance Bill, 2019 to Parliament for the section dealing with interest rate capping to be relooked. Even Parliament, which initially indicated it would turn down the President’s request, has now joined the chorus of the President and the banks.

While Uhuru explained that the capping had not achieved the intended purpose blaming it for damaging the economy and denying micro, small and medium-sized enterprises the much-needed credit, the reasoning seems far-fetched and coated to appeal to the banking sector and international lending groups.

Again, if the government is heavily borrowing from local banks even without the caps, how would the MSMEs afford such loans at the prevailing market rates? It makes no economic sense and is highly insensitive.

 

Economic and political analyst