Nairobi senator Johnson Sakaja yesterday said despite his Bill being signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 2016, the relevant ministry was yet to implement it.
In the 11th Parliament, Sakaja, then nominated members of the National Assembly sponsored the National Employment Authority Act which gave effect to Article 55(c) and 56(b) of the Constitution by providing a legal framework for the State to take affirmative measures to ensure youth and marginalized groups access employment and economic empowerment.
The Act was to establish an Authority that will assume the functions of the National Employment Bureau whose mandate is to maintain a database for all jobless youth to facilitate their employment.
“It is unfortunate that years after the President signed the Bill into law, no progress has been made. We should by now be having the data at the county and the national level of the people who are seeking employment,” Sakaja said at Parliament Buildings during a meeting with seven petitioners from Kajiado county.
In March this year, a survey conducted by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) showed that seven million Kenyans are unemployed and out of these, 1.4 million were desperately looking for employment.
It is estimated that currently about 25 million Kenyans in the working-age bracket of between 15 and 64 years and by 2020, this working working-age population is expected to increase to 28.5 million.
On the petition which has been filed in the Senate by the ten residents of Kaputei ward in Kajiado county seeking the help of the House over companies which they say are not employing the locals , Sakaja who is also the chairman of the Labour and Social Welfare committee said action will be taken against the firms found to be violating the workers rights.
In the petition presented by nominated senator Marry Seneta, the petitioners have accused flower farms and at least 27 other companies in the area for dying the local jobs.
“Majority of these flower farms, institutions, and other companies do not advertise for jobs in the local dailies or public places within the ward,” the petitioners have argued.
The petitioners are also accusing the private firms of not investing back in the community and violating the rights of workings adding that they know of workers who haired on a low wage below the minimum recommended.
“Despite making huge profits from their operations in our ward, these firms do not invest back in the community through corporate social responsibility, which has entrenched a sense of exploitation and marginalization among the local people as well as anger and resentment towards these firms,” they said.
Seneta said some companies have taken advantage of the locals-majority of who are Maasais- not to give them jobs on the notion that they are uneducated.
She called on the Ministry of Labour to urgently dispatch labour officers to inspect the allegations and those found to have violated the employment laws, be prosecuted.