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by Sydney
Political Cartoonist and Commentator


Sydney

Oct 30, 2020

Wheelbarrows The other side of Kazi Mtaani


The Kenyanpost news


The Tangatanga adherents, led by DP William Ruto, seem to believe that giving wheelbarrows to the youth is the missing piece in the puzzle that is Kenya's youth empowerment. Well, it is not! Granted, a wheelbarrow has its use and has transformed many people's lives. From masons to fruit vendors, many small-scale businesses are established on a wheelbarrow.

However, to expect that every youth will find their life's meaning in a wheelbarrow is to expect too much. The youth in Kenya are incredibly skilled and talented in several areas. Yet the national government recently launched the Kazi Mtaani program . How do you expect a Medicine gradunt to collect garbage and slash roadside. That’s misplaced priorities and the government is fully to blame.

The Kazi Mtaani initiative depicts what seems to be 'wheelbarrow-intensive' projects. The youth cut grass, collect and burn trash and unclog waterways. In one of the clips, the youth are seen pushing a cart filled with the trash.

While this initiative came in handy for many of the youth who were rendered jobless due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is short term and does not have any sustainability measures in place.

Proactive environmental management measures will ensure waste management laws and regulations, virtually guaranteeing every Kenyan their right to a clean environment. As it stands, the youth engaged in the Kazi Mtaani are merely duplicating other people's work. Besides, it can be discouraging for the younger children to see college graduates spending hours slashing grass and unclogging waterways rather than innovating new grass-cutting machinery.

The political narratives seem to be based on mere populist rhetoric that is not entrenched in ordinary people's real needs. Ironically, both Tangatanga and Kieleweke are singing the same song in different languages. While
The youth are used in political activities that often deliver meagre short-term financial gains at the expense of sustainable livelihoods through quality education, respect for the rule of law and robust industries that ensure long-term skill utilisation through self and other employment avenues.


Read also : Muthama accussed of taking Ruto's donations


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