University students in Kitui County have issued a seven day ultimatum
to the Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to rescind the arrest
threat she issued against Higher Education Loans Board loan defaulters
Through their leaders, the students drawn from Kenyatta University
Kitui Campus and South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) termed the CS’s
threat insensitive given the prevailing unemployment rates among the
KU students association president Brian Makau said lack of jobs among
graduates had greatly contributed to the defaults and urged the State
to first address the unemployment menace before going after those yet
to repay their loans.
“How does CS Amina Mohamed expect us to repay HELB loans when we can
hardly secure jobs. Let the Jubilee government first create the one
million jobs for the youth promised in 2013 campaigns,” noted Mweu.
Echoing Mweu’s sentiments, SEKU students’ association chairman Ole
Nguruna Lesiamon blamed non repayment of higher education loans of
financial difficulties among university graduates.
“It must be understood that no beneficiary intends to default but lack
of gainful employment has left loanees hopeless and helpless. All we
need is jobs and the government won’t need to threaten us with
prosecution,” he emphasized.
They spoke at Kwa Vonza Trading Center in Kitui Rural Constituency.
CS Mohamed last Wednesday said that Helb would collaborate with the
police and employers to track down 74,000 beneficiaries of the
education funding who have failed to service their loans.
Warning the defaulters would be arrested and jailed, the Cabinet
Secretary lamented that HELB was yet to recover about Sh7.2 billion
from the loan defaulters.