Statement from the National Youth Sector Alliance on the Misappropriation of the The Kazi Kwa Vijana and the Kenya Youth Empowerment Program Funds by Government Officials.
October 27, 2011 2 Comments
Nairobi: September 24th 2011
The National Youth Sector Alliance is disturbed by the news that that Kazi Kwa Vijana Funds provided by the World Bank for the purpose of empowering Kenyan Youth with job opportunities have been misappropriated by top officials in the office of the Prime Minister. Media reports indicate that the World Bank released 4 Billion Shillings for KKV and that it is demanding a refund of over 900 million which is claimed to be misappropriated by officials in the OPM.
In 2008 during the National Youth Convention (NYCIV), the youth delegates complained directly to the Prime Minister of the poor design of the KKV program noting that most of the funds were being spent not directly reaching the youth with a tagline of “Kazi Kwa Vija Pesa Kwa Wazee” It was recommended that the design of the program be restructured in order to directly empower the Kenyan youth. The recommendations were never taken into account by the Office of the Prime Minister.
During the inaugural Prime Minister’s Round Table with the Youth in September of 2010, under the Youth Empowerment Thematic Focus, a specific recommendation was made to the effect that the impact of the KKV was not being achieved due to poor structure and implementation. It was recommended that the Program be restructured to accommodate both labour intensive as well as intellectual capacity of the many millions of graduates from both tertiary and other institutions of higher learning in the country.
While the program was expanded and largely involved the Private Sector, the office of the Prime Minister managed to rename the department to Kenya Youth Empowerment Program. No caution was taken to the re-designing and structure of the KKV Program implementation. The specific recommendation in the matrix of implementation has never been responded to.
The fact that there has been public outcry and a lot of advice given on how to restructure the KKV, it is disturbing that the bureaucracy in the Office of the Prime Minister has not been keen to redesigning the program for the public good.
It should be noted that KKV is the closest that Kenya has come to creating massive employment opportunities for the high numbers of the unemployed population in the Country. The Fact that advice to make the program work has not been taken, is a confirmation of the existence of an axis of evil in Government that is hell bent to continue enjoying youth disenfranchisement for short term political gains.
It is still not clear how much money has been misappropriated and how much has already been disbursed. NYSA will initiate the process to bring to the fore the facts in partnership with other key stakeholders. The process will immediately seek to have an audience with the Kenyan youth and the relevant Government agencies to get into the root of the matter under question.
Pending Issues on the Youth Enterprise Development Fund;
It should also be noted that there are many questions that are left unanswered on the Youth Enterprise Development Fund. There have been unconfirmed allegations of fictitious and non-existent youth groups being beneficiaries of the Fund with millions of shillings reported missing without financial returns. All this matters must now be put under investigation and the agenda of Youth Empowerment in Kenya brought to naught in order to deal with the unemployment issue once and for all.
Demands from the Youth of Kenya
The Youth of Kenya, demand the following from the office of the Prime Minister and the Coalition Government;
1. A comprehensive financial audit of KKV and YEDF conducted with the following details;
a. the total amount of money used,
b. the kinds of projects accomplished,
c. the number and names of youth beneficiaries and how much they have received
d. the impact of the program aggregated according to region and gender.
2. Immediate suspension of the Officers in charge of the Kenya Youth Empowerment Program (KYEP) in the office of the Prime Minister.
3. Independent investigations to immediately commence and the officers found culpable of the misappropriation of the KKV and YEDF funds be prosecuted.
4. Immediate suspension of any financial undertakings on the program until it is comprehensively redesigned through a team of experts with young people included through a competitive independent, public vetting process.
Leadership from the two Principles
The National Youth Sector Alliance calls upon the President and the Prime Minister to put aside all their assignments and directly attend to these issues. This is a clear picture of corruption and the Youth of Kenya demand for accountability on funds meant for them. Transparency MUST Prevail.
Signed for and on behalf of the National Youth Sector Alliance.
Convener – NYSA