According to the Kisii County Government, the unemployment rate stands at 61% with youth accounting for the majority of the cases. As a result, the youth are engaging in menial jobs to earn a living.
However, unscrupulous firms in the region are taking advantage of the situation by obtaining money fraudulently from youth with the promise of securing them jobs.
Such a case occurred on May 11, 2019, when three youth were allegedly conned Sh26, 000 each in a network marketing scheme. The scheme was orchestrated by a company identified as Tiens International.
The company asked the youth to part with the amount, promising them that they would earn a bonus through referrals. The three youth identified as Dominic Mokua, Cristabel Nyanchama, and Dennis Nyangechi obliged and referred their friends to the program with the hope of getting the bonus.
However, things took a different turn when they visited the company branch in Daraja Mbili to claim their referral bonus. The company failed to inform them about the status of their bonus payment without giving any valid reason.
Upon further inquiry, the company officials assaulted the youth. They sustained serious injuries and were later treated at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital.
A staff member of Tiens International who was not pleased with the mistreatment of the jobless youth informed Geoff Gichana, a Hivisasa Kisii writer.
The writer visited the assaulted youth and gathered more information about the incident. He also reached out to the company’s management for a comment, but his efforts were futile. The officials stated that no action can be taken against them since they were well ‘connected’.
The writer went ahead to contact Tiens International Nairobi office but the management declined to give a comment. Gichana also interviewed other Kisii youth who have lost money in the hands of the company.
After the story was published, the writer shared it on various Facebook pages he runs alongside WhatsApp groups with Kisii opinion leaders.
Based on the nature of the story, it went viral with many calling for the arrest of the officials and closure of the company. Local leaders also demanded action against the officials.
Area OCS Eliud Kimwele informed the writer that Interior CS Fred Matiang’i had called him demanding action regarding the assault case. The OCS later arrested the officials who were then charged with assault and causing actual bodily harm contrary to section 251 of Penal Code. The case is expected to continue on May 28. Investigations are still underway to ascertain the legality of the company.
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