What you need to know:
- People seek jobs because they don’t have reliable income or sustainable cash flows into their pockets.
The costs amount to discrimination against the desperate and destitute job seeking citizens.
It has been more than a decade since I left high school and embarked on looking for a job. I later joined college and, soon after graduating, restarted my job hunting venture.
I’ve applied for more than 10,000 jobs, out of which I have been privileged to attend at least10 interviews. All the interview panellists have demanded similar pre-requisite documents that a shortlisted candidate has to provide prior to the interview session.
They are clearance certificates from CRB, Helb, KRA, EACC and Certificate of Good conduct from the DCI. Each costs not less than Sh1,000. To acquire all these papers, a job seeker must spend at least Sh7,000. Yet they serve as the gate pass to the interview room.
Kenya has many graduates in different fields and at all levels. Most of these holders of certificates, diplomas and degrees are young, jobless dwellers in informal settlements, and remote villages. Requiring such people to spend Sh7,000 on obtaining the documents — which are in the government’s records anyway — is tantamount to blocking them from job opportunities.
I hereby petition the Ministry of Labour to formulate a policy and Parliament’s Labour and Social Welfare committees to enact legislation, which shall direct institutions such as CRB, Helb, KRA, DCI and EACC to digitise their data and upload and regularly update the status and details of all adults.
They should provide a short code SMS number for use by Kenyans to promptly know their status and up-to-date details by sending their respective ID number when needed. Such enquiry should not cost more than Sh5.
The IEBC has its short code SMS number, 70000, that costs Sh6 for whoever wants to know his/her voting status to just send the ID number and get results within a minutes; Safaricom subscribers dial *100# or *234#; and Ufaa *361#. Why can’t CRB, KRA, Helb, DCI and EACC emulate them and make life easier for the needy jobless youth?
People seek jobs because they don’t have reliable income or sustainable cash flows into their pockets. Why would the government punish the poor job-seekers by charging them an amount that they don’t have, in the first place, for documents that are in the public institutions’ database?
Moreover, presenting the documents to an interviewer does not guarantee employment. You may sell your livestock or property to secure the documents only to be told, “Sorry, you are not lucky; we can’t hire you at the moment.”
In addition, the documents must be renewed every year — at the same cost! The costs amount to discrimination against the desperate and destitute job seeking citizens.
Joseph Onyango Owuondo, Nairobi