Uncle Moody’s appointment is a disparage for the youths
By Godana Godana
A few days ago, Kenyans were baffled beyond belief when a 91-year old Moody Awori- The former vice president of the Republic of Kenya landed a job as a member of the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund Board courtesy of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
As if that wasn’t enough, the president(in his own defence) goes ballistic accusing the youth of being corrupt and that his appointment of the octogenarian politician who has stayed out of the public eye since losing his Funyula seat to the youthful Ababu Namwamba in 2008.
What is even more incredible coming from the president is that it had to be SPORTS,ARTS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT FUND BOARD- A board that is supposed to be very pertinent on matters youth.
Just to make it clear, I have nothing sinister against Awori who has served his constituents and discharged his national duties as the Asst. C-in-C for some years without blemish.
His time at various ministries also ended without any allegations of mishandling public coffers. So on integrity,the president may be right.
However,the question that begs at this point is ‘has the president, with the immense resources he has at his disposal, really sought for a youthful person who can aggressively champion the youth agenda at the board?’. I think not.
A day after the appointment,the president told off the critics who sought to know why he would make such an appointment saying that he is tired of seeing the youthful people he employs to public offices stealing money meant for youth development. A quick review of the major scandals that has gripped the attention of this nation at various times will prove the president wrong. From the Goldenberg to Anglo-leasing, NYS 1&2 to NHIF which is since gathering a cyclone-like storm ready to ruin whatever is in its way, none of the major actors in these scandals are said to be youth and/or youthful.
The looting of the Youth Development Fund was orchestrated by the President’s bossom buddy Bruce Odhiambo who is now embroiled in a court battle with the state over the same. Was his appointment of Odhiambo on meritorious ground or just a buddy-level ‘token’? That’s for any one to figure out but the president should measure his words when addressing such important issues. Blaming the youth for corruption reeks of general contempt for the youth agenda and development by the establishment. The state of youth unemployment experienced in this country is mostly as a result of poor government policies that have mismanaged public resources and looted the rest leaving no room for development hence denying the youth chances of employment.
The level of arts development in this country is nothing to write home about because such appointments. This not because the persons employed to such boards lack integrity, what they lack is the capacity to formulate policies and allocate resources accordingly where it deserves. I bet appointments of such nature are spread across all government ministries as this isn’t the first time the president has appointed geezers to public service re Muthaura.
The onus is now on the youthful members of parliament to seal such loopholes that threaten the hope of the youth of this nation ever enjoying the fruits of being the citizens of this country by sponsoring bills that sets age limits for public service appointments or better still specify age limits for certain public service jobs especially those that deal with the youth like the above. For example, Uncle Moody would have discharged better at Kenya prisons board if such a board actually exists since this was one of his major wins in public service by executing prisons reforms that has since advanced over the years. At sports & arts board, I bet he will be barely sitting in meetings wondering what he is doing there and draw his salary anyway. Uncle Moody will not add any value to that board.
Let me conclude by urging President Kenyatta to re-examine his attitude towards the youth and their agenda and also desist from blanket accusations of the young people as he has three of them in his house himself.
(The author is a community organiser in Isiolo county and has interests in youth agenda and social-economic issues)