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Mudavadi: I would not mind if my pastor doubled up as a mechanic

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has urged religious leaders in Kenya to get a side hustle, in light of unemployment crisis in the country.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the World Friends (Quakers) Conference at Kabarak University in Nakuru County, Mr Mudavadi said it would be a pleasure for him to find out that a religious leader had another career off the pulpit.

“My fellow Quakers, we have a crisis of unemployment. There are about 7 million young men and women (who are) capable, able, schooled but we have a crisis. We have to figure out what we shall do as a collective to sort out some of these problems. I may not know the full curricular at the Friends Theological College, for instance, but I think, as Quakers, we may need to double up the theological component with one or two other skills so that the pastor or preacher will not just pass the word of God but will be an extension officer on matters of economy and skilling the congregation that they go to,” Mudavadi said.

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“I would not mind if my pastor doubles up as an agricultural officer, an ICT trainer, a nurse or a mechanic. So, let me convey that message so that again we come together in dealing with this challenge of unemployment,” he added.

By the end of the quarter to December 2022, the number of Kenyans without employment grew from from 2.89 million people in September to 2.97 million in December. In a report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in April 2023, the economy shed over 80,000 jobs in the three months after the August 9, 2022, General Election; and people age 29 and below were the hardest hit.

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It was found that the unemployment crisis particularly hit those between age 20-29 among those in search of low cadre positions in organizations. With the runaway cost of living and multinational companies closing up shops, the number of those unemployed continues to balloon.

As the economy shed jobs just as he was settling in to his new job, President William Ruto later said he would enhance agricultural activities in the country and build a market in each Kenyan constituency; promote exports to provide farmers with international markets and create digital jobs to counter the obstacles to youth having gainful employment.  In this instance, he intends to fund TVETS to build computer labs that will train students.

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