HELB madness, Personal Experience
By Gordon Opiyo
I cleared Campus during the KANU era, when Moi and Biwott were stealing everything, and their cronies demanding 10% for every investment. Jobs were hard to come by. We had to pool resources and stay like 5 graduates in a single room as we tarmacked from Mathare North. It wasn’t easy. Getting a public service job with a name like Onyango Opiyo from Siaya was next to impossible. Moi regime made life hard for Luos from Siaya due to his siasa mbaya maisha mbaya philosophy against Odingaism. I took five years to settle on these JuaKali jobs.
I thought I made it big when Hilary Ng’weno employed me at the Weekly Review, but due to tough economic times caused by KANU corruption, he shut the Magazine. I then tried working at the Standard as a correspondent. Life at Likoni road was hard. You could end up with 5 k at the end of the month if your stories were not used. I tried growing tomatoes in BuruBuru, I fried cassavas and sweet potatoes in Eastleigh. I basically did anything to bring food on the table.
All this while, HELB was fining me 5,000 Bob per month for being broke. By the time I settled, I was told that I owed them 800k!!!
From a loan of 100k, these guys wanted me to pay 800k.
I was not able to get a job due to corruption by the same guys making the silly policies.
Now that corruption is again fully back to the KANU days, and with a new level of mass theft called Counties, I wonder how graduates are surviving.
To make matters worse, non of the politicians is thinking about the youth. They are all talking about 2022, as HELB fines them 5,000 per month for being jobless.
To rub salt to Injury, Amina wants to use Police to follow people.
Some things are more than annoying.