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Members of Parliament now want the Kazi Mtaani initiative launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta halted saying it was poorly planned and is an avenue to embezzle public funds.

The lawmakers told National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani that the initiative is not viable and the government needs to go back to the drawing board in a bid to structure the project in an efficient way.

Speaking Wednesday during the second day of the third National Assembly leadership retreat, the lawmakers complained that majority of the youth especially in the constituencies have been locked out of the programme.

Limuru MP Peter Mwathi said the programme is causing more division among the youth due to the exclusion of others.

Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi said the government needs to check the value of the money paid to the youth and the work they do.

“When you go to the constituency, the youth are doing drainage today, the following day they do the same thing. If we use these young people to make desks or engage in construction, we can measure their output or utilise their skills effectively,” said Mr Cheboi. Budget and Appropriation Committee chairman Kanini Kega said the programme is not sustainable and there is need for a change of plan.

 Mr Yatani, however, insisted that the programme will continue until the end of the year as intended in order to assist the youth get back to their feet after Covid-19

Although Mr Yatani admitted that in some areas the programme was hurriedly introduced without a proper plan, he added that measures are currently in place measures to ensure it lives up to its intended objective.

“We have put up accountability measures that will be rolled out soon so that the programme can continue until the economy stabilises and the people can go back to their jobs,” Mr Yatani said.

Jobless Kenyans

The programme is geared at integrating jobless Kenyans in urban hygiene and sanitation work across 23 informal settlements in the country.

It provides employment and daily wages for low-income workers living in informal settlements while improving urban infrastructure and service delivery within informal settlements.

The programme aims at reaching a total population of 669,000 households across all the 290 constituencies.

The current payroll figure stands at 341,958 households and targeting for other households is still going and all needy households will be reached by October this year.

So far, out of the Sh10 billion that the government allocated for the purpose of cushioning elderly citizens, orphans and vulnerable members of the society, the government has disbursed Sh1.3 billion for phase one of the Kazi Mtaani project, Sh2.4 billion and Sh5.6 billion has been earmarked for phase three.