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MP wants state to pay NHIF fees for disabled, elderly

King'ara says most of them are poor and cannot raise the Sh500 monthly contribution.

In Summary

• The lawmaker, through his Ng’ang’a King’ara Foundation, is seeking to  register more than 7,000 elderly and persons with disabilities in Ruiru.

• King’ara also urged the government to conduct a thorough audit of the cash transfer programme and weed out corrupt officials who have been enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.

Ruiru MP Simon King'ara
Ruiru MP Simon King'ara
Image: JOHN KAMAU

An MP has urged the government to pay NHIF monthly contributions for all persons with disability and senior citizens.

Ruiru MP Simon King’ara said most persons with disability and the elderly are yet to be registered with the National Hospital Insurance Fund due to lack of money. He said most of them are poor and cannot raise the Sh500 monthly NHIF contribution.

He spoke in Githurai on Monday when elderly and handicapped persons from Kiu, Mwihoko, Kahawa Sukari, Kahawa Wendani and Githurai were registered in the NHIF programme.

The lawmaker, through his Ng’ang’a King’ara Foundation, is seeking to  register more than 7,000 elderly and persons with disabilities in Ruiru.

“Some of the PWDs have severe disabilities and come from humble backgrounds. Most of them do not have any source of income and yet they are required to contribute monthly to the fund," King'ara said.

"It’s high time the government chips in and starts paying the monthly payments for them.” 

The MP appealed to the government to also ensure that all PWDs are recognised by the state and be issued with identity cards so they can benefit from the cash transfer programme.

“There are severe and needy cases, especially in Juja. We need to have these people registered so that they can be accessing the monthly stipends from the government,” he said.

King’ara also urged the government to conduct a thorough audit of the cash transfer programme and weed out corrupt officials who have been enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.

He said the programme has been infiltrated by unscrupulous individuals who have been pocketing money meant for the disabled.

“The cartels who have been siphoning cash through the programme are the reason most deserving handicapped persons do not receive a dime. A thorough scrutiny is needed to weed out these characters and ensure they face the law,” King’ara said.

“Our brothers and sisters who are abled differently have so many needs that require a lot of finances. It is such a shame for some individuals to sit somewhere and start stomaching the very money needed to cater to their needs.” 

The MP appealed to parents not to hide their physically and mentally handicapped children, saying the government and NGOs are ready to help them with mobility devices and counselling.

“I appeal to parents not to lock up their handicapped children because it’s a disservice to them. There’s help out here with so many NGOs and support groups ready to assist both parents and the children,” King'ara said.

Beneficiaries led by Paul Kinyanjui urged the government to take stern action against individuals pilfering cash meant for the disabled.

“The government releases money in good faith but before it reaches us it passes through the hands of corrupt officials. This matter should be looked into seriously because most of us are struggling to make our ends meet and we mostly depend on the stipends,” Kinyanjui said.

Elizabeth Wanjira, another beneficiary, appealed to the government to increase the cash, saying this will cushion them from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Edited by A.N