Youth jittery on how money will be spent


Published on 12/06/2009

By Ramadhan Rajab

Mr Gilbert Ikutwa, a charcoal vendor in Kibera, does not know what to make of the Budget.

He says although a lot of funds were allocated to the constituencies, he doubts they would benefit mwananchi.

Ikutwa further says his and other poor Kenyans’ problems are caused by the political class and yet they are the same people who will control the money given to benefit Kenyans.

“I am sure politicians will use this money as a bait to earn political mileage in constituencies as well as award their cronies. We need a monitoring system as well delink political interest in allocation committees,” he said.

As he invites us to his stall in Macuta area, he is keen on the radio telling us he doesn’t want to miss the Budget proceedings, noting it holds the answer to whether his life will be worse or better.

Busying himself with filling cans of charcoal, Ikutwa notes Budget would only make sense and earn mwananchi’s trust if it became realistic especially through creation of jobs and lessening people’s financial burden.

“Jobs don’t mean Kazi Kwa Vijana, but a sustained programme of employing youths to help them secure income and forge ahead,” he said.

Ikutwa, however, wishes Government would come in to control prices of essential commodities.

Lower prices

He argues there is no need for Government to lower prices of commodities if they cannot monitor implementation in the market.

“We have witnessed several price cuts, but distributors remain resistant, citing old stocks to justify selfish interests,” Ikutwa says.

Ms Peris Achieng’, 38, a widow and mother of four, agrees with Ikutwa.

Achieng’ says the Budget should also provide regulations and follow up to ensure adherence.

In addition to price controls on commodities, she urges the State to offer guidelines on rent, so as to cushion tenants from ruthless landlords.

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