Uhuru pledges return of Kazi Mtaani during Kayole visit

Uhuru pledges return of Kazi Mtaani during Kayole visit

President Uhuru Kenyatta has indicated that the Kazi Mtaani program which was scheduled to end on March 4 may not be scrapped after all.

The Head of State said he had been approached by youth from Kiambu and Nairobi on the possibility of the program being extended.

“When I was in Uthiru and Kiamaiko, and here, the youth have said they want Kazi Mtaani back, do you agree with them? Let’s see what we will do to have the program back,” he said.

President Kenyatta was speaking in Kayole on Friday where he commissioned the Soweto Hospital.

On matters BBI, President Kenyatta on Friday asked Kenyans to support the Bill, saying it will ensure that more money is allocated to counties.

He also said that Kenya was enjoying its current peace and stability on account of his handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga.

“Are Kenyans living in peace together? Are they eating together like brothers? I ask then, did I do anything wrong when I shook my brother’s hand?”

The president also cautioned politicians against politics of division, saying such politics will lead to disunity and bloodshed.

In July last year, the Head of State warned against political interference in the national roll out of the Kazi Mtaani program.

The President said the initiative was mooted to assist Kenyan youth whose livelihoods had been disrupted by the Covid-19 health crisis.

“I had the opportunity to visit a number of sites where these young people were working and I saw the positive impact they had in terms of improving lives and protecting the environment of those who are the most vulnerable,” he said.

The Head of State regretted that similar interventions were in the past mismanaged and, directed Regional and County Commissioners to take full control of the program.

“Many of you will recall that a similar program was unfortunately abused. I have to be very clear with you, we will not entertain abuse this time around.

“It will be your direct responsibility to ensure that there is no abuse. It is for you to ensure that the money that comes to your regions is used properly and used for the intended purpose,” the President said.

President Kenyatta charged Regional and County Commissioners with the responsibility of ensuring transparency in the recruitment of the youth into the program.

He said beneficiaries of the Kazi Mtaani initiative should be identified purely on merit.

“Recruit people who are in need and not brothers, sisters or cousins. This money should only help the people who are in real need. The first test for you will be the recruitment,” the President told the administrators.

“The program will be free of any political interference. It’ll not be a process which politicians will use to get votes,” he cautioned.

The Kazi Mtaani program is under the State Department of Housing and Urban Development and was launched last year to provide social protection for casual labourers impacted by COVID-19.

Under the program, beneficiaries are entitled to a weekly stipend of Ksh.1,000 which is remitted by the State Department of Interior and Co-ordination of the National Government through mobile money transfers.