Welcome to Kenya where being poor is a criminal offence

Education CS Amina Mohamed at a past meeting at Travelers Beach Hotel in Mombasa. /JOHN CHESOLI

Education CS Amina Mohammed’s statement about arresting HELB defaulters continues to elicit mixed reactions on social media.

Amina said graduates will be traced through their workplaces. She spoke on Wednesday when she launched HELB’s five-year strategic plan at a Nairobi hotel.

“We will partner with the agencies to trace the defaulters. We want them to become reliable and responsible citizens by repaying their debts,” Amina said.

“This will include tracking graduates working in enterprises such as mobile transfer services like M-Pesa, Airtel Money and other emerging jobs. We hope by doing we will increase the resources that are available to HELB to support others.”

And now activist Boniface Mwangi believes the government is trying to criminalize poverty.

You took a loan to fund your education expecting to get a job and pay back the money. You graduate, can’t find a job, you’re hungry, depressed,barely surviving & now
@AMB_A_Mohammed wants you jailed because you can’t find a job to enable you pay the loan. Criminalizing poverty. pic.twitter.com/zpSWIcq8kK— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) February 20, 2019

Do you think HELB defaulters should be arrested?

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