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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Major coup looms at National Youth Council

Students Organisation of Nairobi University boss Babu Owino is set to become the chairman of National Youth Council in a scheme that is being hatched by politically well-connected youths with State House connections.
The chairman of the council is Dishon Atemo. He is holding the position in acting capacity after the resignation of the previous chairman.
Owino was recently re-elected students’ chairman, and immediately declared he will not defend the seat come next elections.    
Upon being re-elected, Babu held a party to celebrate his win. It was graced by Uhuru Kenyatta’s private secretary Jomo Gechaga who also happens to be Uhuru’s nephew.
Reports have it, Owino’s camp was well-oiled and funded by State House with the aim of having Jubilee control students’ politics ahead of 2017.
That Owino is close to the political powers that be is no secret. Sometimes back after Uhuru officiated a function at University of Nairobi, Owino was invited to State House the same day and held discussions with the president.
We have established that in an effort to control opposition leaning towards National Youth Council, Jubilee has set its eyes to plant and have friendly forces in charge. The Owino entry in youth politics at national level is part of the strategy.
A source within the council revealed that Atemo’s move to chairmanship slot is being questioned in many quarters and that is why Owino is likely to land the slot. Atemo is financially crippled compared to Owino with word he has never touched Sh1m.
 Owino is seen as aggressive and outgoing and Atemo cannot match him.
During the last NYC elections, Cyrus Jirongo is said to have funded Atemo’s campaigns.
Atemo has been holding the position of chairman, finance. Clement Oyungo resigned as chairman after misunderstandings with others.
We have information, infighting is at the centre of NYC operations to an extent whenever meetings are called, tempers always flare with no agenda agreed on.  
According to youth council constitution, elections are to be held after every five years. However, going by the current happenings at the council, a coup is looming with allegations those occupying the top positions are not youths but persons out to use the organisation for personal gains.
It is said, despite government financing its activities within even paying rent for offices located in Kencom House Nairobi, its activities are not felt on ground.
One of accusations is the fact that it is not representing any youth. They cannot fight corruption. NYC is also accused of using trainings to mint money through allowances.
Already officials at the county level are accusing the national office of being inactive. We could not establish whether it is true, Owino is planning to host officials from the county in Nairobi soon to plan on the way forward.
A move by NYC leaders to host induction at Kenya School of Government was not received well with claims not all officials were invited or even aware.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
National Youth Council is a statutory organ; body corporate established pursuant to the Kenya National Youth Council Act, number 10 of 2009 to act as an advisory, research and policy institution on youth affairs in the country.
Its functions among many others are to promote and popularise the national youth policy, liaise with other organisations  to ensure that the youth gain access to resources and services appropriate to their needs just to mention but a few.

Officials who have served NYC include,
Edwin Palapala,  Nesphory Nyange,  Rose Komu,  Vallen Yiaile,  Clement Ayungo,  Fatuma Harrow Abubakar, Arnold Maliba and Benson Kitoo Mutemi. Others are Mary Achieng, Billy Graham Okumu, Julie Waweru, Samuel  Chepkwony,  Rahow Jimale, Dishon Atemo, Maganda Jackline and  Paul Mugambi.
They are to be in office for a period of three years, with effect from the December 10 2012. Paul Ongili Owino aka Babu Owino was born in Kisumu. Babu vied for Westlands’ constituency and lost. He is a man of means and able to ran and finance a serious NYC national campaign to put. Not much is known of Atemo apart from recently being awarded a road project by Vihiga county. A graduate of University of Nairobi, he  hires vehicles when in and outside Nairobi. Atemo’s claims to be close to Devolution secretary Anne Waiguru is not true, it said. NYC falls under Hassan Wario’s Sports and Youth ministry. Owino’s dalliance with Uhuru is seen as part of Uhuru’s scheme to appoint more Luos into plum positions to woo the community.