, KISII, Kenya, Jun 6 – President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday visited an elderly couple who are on the government’s cash transfer program to hear first-hand how the initiative is helping them.
The President sat down with Alfred Bosire Matundura and the wife at their home in Masimba, Kisii County.
They explained to him how the monthly cash aid they receive from government has changed their lives and has given them dignity.
“It is about handing control of our lives back to us,” Matundura said.
“This means we don’t have to rely handouts from our children or other relatives to survive,” he told the President.
President Kenyatta said he agrees that the Inua Jamii programme has given the elderly dignity and that is one of the reasons he wants it expanded to cover more elders.
He said all elders above the age of 70 will now qualify for the cash transfers.
“From next year, everyone over the age of 70 will be enrolled under the programme to protect their dignity and so they can be in control of their lives” said the President.
As the President chatted with Matundura, a group of elderly people in the homestead cheered the President through song and dance in praise of the programme.
In 2016, the government distributed Sh583.4 million to 24,312 elderly people under the Inua Jamii programme in Kisii County alone. In Nyamira, the government distributed Sh178.8 million to 8,461 elderly people.
Empowering elder citizens through cash transfers is at the heart of President Kenyatta’s campaign to enable them continue meaningful contribution to the economy.
Cash transfer beneficiaries have more than tripled to 810,000 since President Kenyatta took office four years ago. Total spend on the programme stood at Sh19.8 billion in the 2016/17 financial year.
“The President also said the government will expand the free maternity programme to give free insurance cover for one year through the National Insurance Hospital Fund (NHIF) to every new mother.