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Reps: We won’t give youths money, they’ll unseat us!

A motion that would have empowered the young people by giving them access to government funding for their businesses has been shot down by the County Assembly.

Members of the Assembly ganged up to defeat the motion by Karen Ward Rep David Mberia, claiming that empowering the youth would create new leadership rivals in their wards.

In a surprise move, Mr Mberia was left with only a handful of Ward Reps on his side who accused the motion opposers of selfishly advancing dependency among youth.

The motion had proposed to have the county government work with financial institutions and have them give loans to those who win contracts.

Seek loans

This would mean that youthful entrepreneurs who get  Local Purchasing Orders (LPOs) from the County Government can seek loans from the shortlisted institutions.

“Today, individuals can get financed by banks if they have government LPOs. We propose that the county government helps our youth to finance LPOs,” said Mr Mberia.

He said there were youth groups who got contracts but were unable to finance them.

“We must help the Government to achieve the implementation of its allocation of 30 per cent of contracts to the youth,” said Mr Mberia.

But majority leader Elias Otieno led a rebellion against the motion, saying it would create overnight millionaires.

“We have struggled to reach where we are as business people. Our youth will become lazy if we pave way for easy loans,” said Mr Otieno.

Mlango Kubwa Ward Rep Andrew Macharia warned Assembly members that they risked creating new rivals in their backyards if they allowed the youth to make money through County Hall.

“We shall  unknowingly be creating our own competitors. Let people look for their own money to do their businesses,” said Mr Macharia.

Mrs Elizabeth Manyala of Kayole South said there is a risk of putting the government in more debt. Maurice Akuku of Nyayo Highrise said a government could not be the guarantor to those it gave contracts.

While accepting defeat, Mr Mberia expressed  disappointment at  the fear shown by his colleagues.

“How can a leader  oppose  a proposal to empower youths? I think we have our priorities wrong,” said Mr Mberia.