Truth About Hundreds of Kenyans Queuing for Jobs in Athi River

  • Hundreds of Kenyans queuing in search of jobs at Athi River, Kenya on January 24, 2023.
    Hundreds of Kenyans queuing in search of jobs at Athi River, Kenya on January 24, 2023.
    Ma3route
  • A picture of hundreds of Kenyans purportedly queuing for a job in Athi River went viral on Wednesday morning, January 25.

    The photo had earlier been posted on Twitter by Ma3route on Tuesday, January 24, and credited to Fred Machuki.

    Ma3route in the photo cited the current state of joblessness in Kenya, explaining that hundreds of Kenyans had visited The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) in search of jobs.

    An image of jobseekers holding placards along a road.
    An image of jobseekers holding placards along a road.
    File

    This photo was taken at Kitengela- Athi River EPZ Road today morning. People are queueing to get a job, take care of the job you currently have,” Machuki captioned the picture.

    Kenyans.co.ke did a fact check of the picture by talking to a staff member at EPZA Athi River branch.

    The staffer confirmed that the picture was, indeed, of job seekers taken at their branch.

    “Yes, we had hundreds of job seekers turn up in our Athi River branch on Tuesday, January 24.

    “They had received information that one of our contracting companies was conducting mass recruitment,” he told Kenyans.co.ke.

    On whether the mass recruitment took place, the EPZA employee revealed: “sadly, no one was employed from the exercise.”

    “The contracting company made a statement that there was a miscommunication and they were not conducting mass recruitment at the moment,” he added.

    Kenyans.co.ke further researched the contracting company and whether it offered any job opportunities.

    On its official website, the company revealed that it had 98,000 employees in 17 different global locations but it had no open vacancies in Kenya at the moment.

    This comes even as the country continues to register increasing unemployment rates every year. 

    According to data from the World Bank (2022), the unemployment rate in Kenya grew from 2.8 per cent in 2016 to 5.7 per cent in 2020 and 2021. 

    Trading Economics (2022) on the other hand placed the unemployment rate in Kenya at 7.5 per cent and President William Ruto promised to reduce the number as part of his election manifesto in the run-up to the 2022 polls.

    "Unemployment is a national crisis and Kenya Kwanza has a plan on how to create jobs, especially for the youth.

    "We are going to deploy Ksh200 billion to build industries around leather, around textile, around the wood industry, agro-processing value addition, manufacturing so that we can create opportunities for the young people of our country and every young person." Kenya Kwanza manifesto reads in part.

    President Ruto further encouraged Kenyan youths to embrace innovation effectively highlighting its power to catalyse productivity, generate gainful employment and create wealth for Kenyans.

    Kenyans queue at a past job interview.
    Kenyans queue at a past job interview.
    File