NAIROBI – Kenyan youths who have not been vaccinated against coronavirus will not be eligible to enroll for the Kazi Mtaani programme.
Housing Principal Secretary Charles Hinga on Saturday said those who wish to be enrolled for Phase III of the programme “must show evidence that they have received at least one jab (where two jabs are required)” for them to be enlisted.
In posts on his official social media account, the PS explained that the government was looking to ensure that young people working under the programme have received at least one jab in a bid to protect the population.
“If you get COVID-19 and you are not vaccinated, it will cost you a lot of money as Covid is not covered by medical insurance. You might require admission which takes up vital resources when we are trying to revive the economy. So, the long and short is that vaccination is good for us all,” he said.
PS Hinga further stated that young people who have applied for the Kazi Mtaani jobs will be required to show proof of vaccination before they are allowed into the programme which starts as soon as Parliament approves the funds.
He also clarified that no youth will be forced to get inoculated even as he stressed that it will be irresponsible for the Ministry to enlist those who are yet to get the jab.
“We shall not force you to be jabbed, but it will be irresponsible of us to allow you to be a risk to yourself and to others. So instead of fighting it, get info on the nearest health center and get your jab. You still have a few more days to get it done,” he said.
“Encouraging the over one million young people enrolled into the Kazi Mtaani program to get their Covid-19 jab. You must show evidence that you have received at least 1 jab (if 2 jabs are required). This is key to recruitment,” the PS stated.
“If you get Covid and you are not vaccinated, it will cost you a lot of money as Covid is not covered by medical insurance. You might require admission which takes up vital resources when we are trying to revive the economy. So the long and short is vaccination is good for us all,” he added.
“I’ve seen a lot of negative comments on the issue of vaccination. Getting vaccinated protects you and protects your co-workers. It is free, and you have a choice as to which jab to take.”
“Lastly, we shall not force you to be jabbed, but it will be irresponsible of us to allow you to be a risk to yourself and to others. Get info on the nearest health centre and get your jab. You still have a few more days to get it done,” PS Hinga advised.
The government has since extended the programme, an initiative designed to cushion the most vulnerable youth in the informal settlements from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, until June 2022.
He said once programme’s funds are appropriated by parliament under the supplementary budget, the programme will kick-off in earnest.
In the first and second phases of the programme, over 280,000 youths were employed from 1,100 informal settlements in 47 counties.
“Everybody seeking in person government services should be fully vaccinated and proof of vaccination availed by December 21, 2021. Such services will include but not limited to, KRA services, education, immigration services, hospital and prison visitation, NTSA and port services among others,” he said.
Kagwe pointed out that some of the directives are derived from the Public Health Act which he said empowers the ministry to take such drastic measures especially during a pandemic.
The CS said the move is aimed at protecting government workers and service providers in other sectors insisting “those who have been vaccinated will not risk their lives serving those who have refused to be vaccinated”.