More than 500 youths employed by the National Youth Service (NYS) empowerment program in Lamu took to the streets of Mpeketoni to protest on delayed payment of their dues.
The youth from various parts of Mpeketoni division including Mkunumbi, Bahari and Hongwe marched to the office of the Mpeketoni deputy commissioner Elijah Chebas demanding an explanation on why they haven’t been paid since the programme kicked off even after it was agreed that they would be paid on a weekly basis via Mpesa.
The angry youth said many things in the NYS empowerment programme were not running as had been agreed in the initial contract.
Over 1400 youth from Lamu West sub-county were recruited into the programme after it was officially launched by NYS director Nelson Githinji and Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa at a daily fee of Sh.471 which is to be paid in a lump sum at the end of each working week.
Githinji had then announced that the money would be paid directly to the recruits’ mobile phones.
It was also agreed that Sh.141 would deducted from each of the recruit’s pay and that it would go into a general account formed to help them save for future projects.
The youth however said there was no money that had been placed in the said general account despite the daily deductions.
“I have personally worked for ten weeks but have only been paid for one week. Whenever we ask we are told the NYS hasn’t released our pay yet and that we should wait but that we should continue working. This isn’t employment, its exploitation and we won’t take it. They should pay up our money,”said Peter Maina a recruit.
On Wednesday, more than 180 youths also recruited to join the NYS in Shanzu, Mombasa raised complains over delayed payment and accused the government of frustrating them.
They were later paid their dues on Thursday after Baraka FM published a story highlighting the problem.