Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has refuted claims by some politicians that the government is underpaying youth hired under Kazi Mtaani programme and diverting the money to political campaigns.
In a statement on Tuesday, the PS said that contrary to claims being made by politicians, the Sh450 that is paid daily to the youth engaged under the National Hygiene Programme is the amount that has been budgeted for and that has been paid to recipients since its launch in 2020.
Politicians allied to Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential candidate, William Ruto, have claimed that the budgeted daily payment in the programme is Sh1,000 daily and not the Sh400 that is being paid out.
In an interview with NTV on Sunday night, the DP claimed that the youth in the programme were being paid half of what they were entitled to with the rest being pocketed by unknown individuals. The DP also termed, the multi-billion shillings programme now in phase three, as a campaign gimmick.
But in his response, Kibicho has challenged Ruto’s team to table supporting evidence showing that the National Assembly budgeted at least Sh1,000 in daily allowance to each youth.
“I would want them to produce the Hansard report confirming their argument that indeed, MPs legislated the amount they claim. This should be fairly easy to prove as the National Assembly is a House of records,” Kibicho said.
Kibicho further stated that 530,608 youth who have been engaged under the programme have been receiving the same amount since the Kazi Mtaani was launched to combat the spread of the Covid-19 and to mitigate the loss of jobs and the economic downturn triggered by the pandemic.
Also, the PS said refuted claims that the programme was being used to woo voters to support Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga, adding that its rollout was decentralised and the recruitment of the beneficiaries was undertaken at the grassroots across the country.
“How is it possible to know which youth is allied to which politician as a condition to getting these jobs? These recruitments are being undertaken at the lowest level of administration by chiefs and their assistants who are best placed to know the most deserving for the available slots,” he said.