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It is ironical a majority of Kenyan youths decry scarcity jobs yet when some employment opportunities present themselves, very few people come out to try their luck, especially those related with disciplined forces. The big question therefore is, are the jobs created by the government safe for its citizens?

Unemployment rate in Kenya increased from 12.70 per cent in 2006 to 40 per cent in 2011. The average rate of unemployment in Kenya was 22.43 per cent between 1999 and 2011.

A case in point is previous recruitment by the National Police Service and the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) where just a handful of young men and women turned up for consideration. In certain counties there were no women job seekers, a setback in achieving gender equity.

The police recruitment had been nullified earlier because of high level of corruption involved the exercise. The matter has since then been taken up with the Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC).

The then EACC director Mumo Matemu said the anti-graft agency was investigating the corruption claims that tainted KDF recruitment.

“We shall know if it was subjected to fraud as alleged but for now let us wait for the report outcome,” he said.

To get a feeling of this, Mary Mutuma, a mother of 5 children and widower whose only hope for her children to secure a job is for them to seek recruitment by the police or KDF.

She sold her only piece of land to pay a bribe for one of her children to get a chance in the army, but luck was not on their side because the money fell in the hands of a fraudster.

“I don’t have any hope for any of my child securing a job in the advertised position of KDF this year because with what I am seeing happening to our policemen I am not ready to see my child go through that and that’s why I prefer he remains at home with me” says Ms Mutuma.

Why would a parent that once had hope for her child to secure a job in the army suddenly has a different opinion, while all that is required for the job is to bring with them current original national identity card and academic certificates and testimonials?

John Ondit, Ms Mutuma’s son, says he is no longer interested in joining the army or the police service because he fears rampant insecurity risks his life. “I have seen in our news most police being mistreated and some die, so where is my protection?” says Ondit

There has been so much killings of police in line of duty, some harassed by citizens until there is a feeling that the public no longer respect police officers.

In an ideal world of a soldier should be able to enjoy one’s job except for the occasional hardship that comes with it.

Other example is the cases of Kenyans seeking jobs in the Middle East where they end up being mistreated and suffer a lot in the hands of their employers.

Unemployment is pushing many youths to join militant groups like Al-Shabaab.

The big question is are the Kenyan youths choosy of the jobs in Kenya or is the government doing enough to ensure conducive working conditions for workers, especially in the public sector?

This provision is clearly stated in the Kenyan article 41(2) (b) of the Constitution which guarantees every worker has the right to reasonable working conditions.

Most Kenyan youths depend on the government to give them hope in making a positive contribution to their country, but sometimes tough working conditions, strict rules that come with the jobs are but a few of the issues that may make one taking a step back and think again.

The elected leaders should also put their foot forward in helping the youths by creating jobs, making employment safe and rewarding in terms of payment. Important issues will perhaps need a more thorough discussion, policy intervention, harmonisation of youth employment, promotion and improvement of education as well as fine-tuning of policies to address the most pressing employment needs of young people.

All said and done Kenya needs to intensify its employment promotion efforts not only on formal jobs also informal sector. Since the youth population will continue to grow fast, employment promotion policies strive to improve the prospects of the youths securing a job.

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