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Opinion

Why Jakoyo Midiwo’s Motion On Betting Was Shot Down By MPs

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The motion by the Deputy Minority Leader in the National Assembly Jakoyo Midiwo seeking to form a committee to investigate gambling was shot down Tuesday. The Gem MP who had recently alleged that the gambling industry was enabling tax evasion and money laundering cried foul after his colleagues rejected the motion claiming that individuals had compromised some of them from unknown quarters.

The lawmakers had last week formed an 11 member joint committee to look into the betting craze with over five million Kenyans hooked already. The committee that was to be co-chaired by Hon. Midiwo and The National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale was expected to table its findings on how to regulate gambling in fourteen days.
Betting is a multi-billion industry which has kept the young people and sometimes old glued to the sites to make quick bucks. Gambling is the addiction and betting indeed is, just like alcohol or any other kind of drug.

It’s said that real men earn their wealth steadily but betting craze is changing the trend, people now want instant everything, cash, pleasure and name it. Shortcuts are known to be dangerous but youths are taking any shorter route to escape poverty and in the process, we are raising a lazy generation of young men who are averse to work.

Parliament brags itself as a den of learned ladies and gentlemen, but political ambitions take centre stage of everything. They deliberately choose not to see any sense in regulating gambling because the number hooked to betting is already big enough to be treated as a voting bloc that must be pleased with all costs.

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Just the same way transport or rather matatu industry has been dealt with. It’s all messed up with rogues and crooks controlling routes in the name of SACCOs. Loud music and excess graffiti were allowed back just to win the votes from that particular ‘bloc’.
Why is betting only open to those who are 18 years and over to indulge in? That is the disclaimer because people are so obsessed to land the cash and try their luck to win the ever elusive jackpot. Some people take massive loans that they strain to pay back, other spend all their salaries and college students even ‘sacrife’ fees hoping it may double or triple. In some extreme cases men sell their household items to indulge, marriages are breaking up, and families are being destroyed.

This addictive behaviour is damaging a whole generation and many to come if not curbed.”We have seen suicides, and many families have been broken because of this thing,” Midiwo said. And to quote Duale who many may not take seriously, he said that students are spending school fees betting, and when they lose, they start fires to divert attention.


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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@protonmail.com]

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