MPs want HELB interest rates scrapped as they oppose university fees increment

MPs want HELB interest rates scrapped as they oppose university fees increment
Emabakasi South Mp Babu Owino, seated center and other young parliamentarians,/COURTESY

In Summary

  • The legislators said they will be seeking audience with officials from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) on the matter and further promised to file an injunction in a bid to stop the increment.
  • The MPs defended the students with loans asking the government not to penalise them as most of them were yet to secure employment.

The Kenya Young Parliamentary Association on Wednesday opposed the move by university chancellors to increase tuition fees terming it as unfair.

Speaking at Parliament buildings, the MPs, led by Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino faulted the decision saying this would infringe on people’s right to education since 70% of the population cannot afford to pay given that they come from poor backgrounds.

The legislators said they will be seeking audience with officials from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) on the matter and further promised to file an injunction in a bid to stop the increment.

” …Increase in tuition fees will deny the students right to education and anyone who is against this is repugnant,” retorted Babu Owino.

While calling for an increase in the current HELB loan disbursement to students, the MPs further urged that the interest on the loans be waived.

“The least amount of money a comrade should get is Ksh.100,000, they are currently getting Ksh.40,000, they pay Ksh.28,000 school fees and all they are left with is Ksh.12,000 to cater for their needs,” said Babu Owino.

On his part Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi called for an audit of the stalled projects in universities claiming that the additional fees could be used to cover up corruption as most of these resources are embezzled.

The MPs defended the students with loans asking the government not to penalise them as most of them were yet to secure employment.

“… Enlisting them in CRB to stop them from accessing other loans is sad while they need loans so that they do business and even be able to pay up their HELB loans,” said MP Atandi.

“If you are jobless you cannot pay let the government get the young people jobs, they have been promising but have done nothing. The government cannot force us to pay loans yet they have not given us jobs,” said Atandi.

“Education should be free, a lot of money is lost through corruption, money which should be used for education,”  said Babu Owino.

“As Babu Owino I will not stop fighting for the rights of the comrade. There are two rules for a comrade; a comrade is always right and a comrade is never wrong,”.

This come just days after students promise to take to the streets of the fee increment is not reviewed downwards.

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