Information mismatches remain a major hindrance to the payment of some of the youth enrolled in the Kazi mtaani project.
In Eastlands for instance, the Star has established that some of the youth either lied or gave wrong information while enrolling for the programme.
Embakasi Deputy County Commissioner Kenneth Murungi in an interview with the Star said some youths were underage and had used their siblings’ IDs, while others used their spouses or parents to register.
Murungi said many youth, especially school-going ones, felt desperate and wanted to try their luck thus either giving false information or using wrong ID cards.
He said Safaricom has been contracted by the government to facilitate the payment through M-Pesa.
“For the service provider to be able to pay, we must have details matching completely. If they do not match with the M-Pesa registered line, then it becomes difficult for payments to be done,” he said.
He said they encountered several cases where the youth complain they had not been paid but when cross-checked, they establish errors in their details.
“If anybody comes forward and claims they have not been paid, we cross-check and if we establish it is a genuine mistake we correct and resubmit their details for payment, but where false or wrong details were submitted then it remains a challenge,” he said.
He added, “We are dealing with a large group of 11,210 in the Embakasi division alone. This is the largest number compared to any other place so you would not expect us to have a few hitches here and there”.
According to the DCC, during the pilot project, they had volumes of challenges, especially duplication of names.
“Most of them wanted to maximise on the chances of being enrolled. They would register at Embakasi, go to Makadara, and go to Kibera or Mathare and so on. At the end, we had to compare the data and remove the duplications,” he said.
Murungi said to avoid unnecessary wrangles, the teams had to ensure that youth based at a particular area where the programme is to be undertaken are the ones who are registered.
“Imagine if you had outsiders registered under the programme; do you think even the locals would allow it. By now the entire plan would have been frustrated,” he said.
On the flip side, Murungi said it was evident that the programme has played a key role in reducing crime, especially in Eastlands.
Murungi said the majority of the youth have been integrated in the programme hence limiting their idle time to engage in anti-social activities.
“By the time they are going back home, they are very tired and yearning to rest. Secondly, their minds are settled because they know at the end of the day something will be in their pockets,” he said.
He said the number of the youth who would hang out in ‘bases’ due to idleness has significantly dropped.
“It gives us some peace knowing that many of them are at a better place not to clash with the law. Many of them have families to provide for and this has come at the right time to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus,” he said.
Murungi said if it were not for such a programme, many youths from Eastlands might have been in police cells due to engaging in crime.
Youth engaging in cleaning exercise at Shaurimoyo Primary School in Kisumu during the launch of the second phase of Kazi Mtaani project on July 14
Image: DANIEL OGENDO
He said the government has come up with mechanisms to monitor those with special skills like carpentry, plumbing, engineering among others and would be integrated into other programmes beyond Kazi mtaani.
The group working in 11-day shifts earns Sh455 a day down from Sh650 when the programme started.
So far over 280,000 youth have been recruited across the country.
State Department for Housing and urban planning said there are 900 informal settlements that are benefiting from the project.