Kenya: This Is Not What We Hoped for, Youth in Kazi Mtaani Say About Pay

A group representing young people has raised concerns over alleged mismanagement of the Kazi Mtaani programme, accusing some government officials of disengaging and disregarding the youth.

In a press briefing on Thursday, National Youth Council (NYC) Nairobi delegates noted that the national government has not been true to its word on the payments under the programme.

The delegates said the payment for the Kazi Mtaani work is too low.

The NYC Nairobi County Chairman Joseph Mwongela said when President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the project, the youth were promised a pay of Sh653 per day each but this has since been reduced to Sh450 per day.

"To our dismay, upon the completion of the 11-day working period, the youth were paid a total of Sh2,275 each instead of Sh4,950 without any explanation or consultation. This translates to Sh206.8 per day," he said.

The programme is part of the national government's initiative in supporting the youth in more than 1,000 settlements across the country.

Pay for days at work

According to terms of the programme, recruits are paid only for the days they report to work, with the daily rates set as Sh455 for a worker and Sh505 for a supervisor.

The second phase of the project commenced on July 13, employing 283,210 young people for 11 days in one month.

The Nairobi delegates' representative Gaddaffi Isiavale said the underpayment is a show of disregard for the youth.

"It is sad that we worked diligently for 11 days and got paid half the amount while others have not received any payment yet. We want the government to address this matter and pay the youth," he added.

Final payment

The remarks by the youth came just a day after Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga said that the first group of workers in the Kazi Mtaani programme will begin getting the final payment from Thursday.

According to PS Hinga, this would cover the final payment for work done from July 20 to July 27 and would be disbursed through mobile money transfer.

He further noted that the delay was caused by problems with worker's lines, saying some were not registered with M-Pesa.

The youth are now calling on the national government, through the Ministry of Interior, to pay the dues in full within the next seven days, further urging for investigations into irregularities within the programme.

"We are demanding the youth be involved in government programmes such as Kazi Mtaani which must be run and be managed by local youth leaders. These programmes should be geared towards benefiting the youth and thus, there should be transparency," Mr Mwongela said.

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