Should Kenya follow Uganda in banning betting activities?

The decision by President Yoweri Museveni to direct the government to halt renewing and issuing licences to gaming companies is a good one. Most young people in Uganda have been wasting their lives and the little money they get on betting.

It is good for people, especially the youth, to love a certain life. In the East Africa region, the betting craze started in Uganda before spreading out. Now that Uganda has announced it will ban gambling, Kenya should follow suit.

Many will not admit it, but gambling has made many young people unproductive. Any right-thinking government will not let its youth be trapped in the vicious cycle of betting at the expense of concentrating on productive economic activities such as farming.

African nations depend on agriculture. Uganda, Kenya and other countries have rich soils that are good for agriculture, but when youth spend all their time betting, this key sector suffers. The advent of betting also brought in its wake an increase in crime. Participants who lose money at times resort to stealing to get cash to gamble with. 

I propose that all the East African Community member states come together through the regional parliament and ensure that we put to an end to sport betting and other gambling activities. The region should not let the lives of the people who are in their most productive ages be determined by betting machines.

Mr Kisos is a former MP of Kween County in Uganda and a Nairobi resident

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