By Davis Mwandawiro
Youth in Mombasa are being challenged to take up opportunities shun crime, radicalisation and drug abuse. This call was made by Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho during the launch of the National Youth Service programmes in Mombasa by president Uhuru Kenyatta.
During his speech, Mr. Hassan Joho condemned the rise of petty crime in the region
“There are groups of youth roaming around Old Town robbing people of their goods. We know them and they live in our houses.”
He reiterated as he further touched on the sensitive issue about youth radicalization and how young men are being recruited in Majengo and other parts of the county to go join Al-Shaabab. Speaking to the public at Fort Jesus, he also mentioned the drug menace that has plagued the region for a while and was also documented on mainstream media by NTV a weekend ago.
“I want to tell my fellow residents that they need to wake up. This county is yours and you don’t need the president to come tell you to stay away from drugs. Take control of your youth. The people who sell the narcotics are your neighbors and people you know. Help the government nab and arrest them.”
He said as he asked requested the government to organised rehabilitation centres and the judiciary to make proper judgement for those caught peddling drugs.
The empowerment program is a stepping stone for the youth to unlock their potential and stay away from substance abuse.
“A program like this is meant for your good but if you waste it will not be of any help to you. I am saddened that the MP had to go door to door to get your young people to register.”
He said as he warned the youth to stop being picky about work. It is a noble and innovative project that will change lives.
The Governor went on to assure the residents that the county will do all in its power to maintain security in the region. The issue about the decline of tourism in the Coast was also addressed as he said that the not only the government but also the public has a role to play in boosting the sector in the county.
President Uhuru Kenyatta centered his speech on the dangers of tribalism and said
“I believe the Islam religion has no tribalism in it and young people should stay away from ideologies that are not about peace”
He urged the residents to speak out on corrupt police on road blocks. Among the attendees were Member of Parliament for Kisauni, Rashid Bedzimba, who stressed about the need for the youth to join the National Youth Service (NYS). MP for Mvita, Mr. Adbulswammad Nassir also acknowledged the repainting work on-going in the county and Women Rep, Mishi Mboko who appreciated the work done by the government on marine training for the youth.