President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday launched the national payment to the 70 years and above new beneficiaries of the Inua Jamii programme, underscoring his administration’s commitment to uplift the lives of the poor and vulnerable Kenyans.
Speaking during the launch at Inchuui Primary School, Tigania East, in Meru County, President Kenyatta said he is focused on ensuring the poor and vulnerable, especially the senior citizens, live in dignity and afford some level of financial independence.
“This programme will ensure that our senior citizens get a Kshs 4,000 stipend to live a dignified a respectable life,” President Kenyatta said.
In Meru County, over 40,000 senior citizens aged 70 and above will benefit from the national payment under the programme.
President Kenyatta also kicked off the issuance of 65,000 title deeds to Meru residents at the event that also doubled up as Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya’s homecoming party.
At the height of last year’s campaigns in June, President Kenyatta announced the expansion of the existing Older Persons Cash Transfer programme into a more inclusive programme that provides cash transfers to all vulnerable older persons of 70 years and above starting January 2018.
The launch of the national payment to the new beneficiaries of the Inua Jamii programme fulfilled the President’s promise and marked an important development in social protection policy in Kenya under the Social Pillar.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection through the State Department of Social Protection, Pensions and Senior Citizens Affairs undertook the registration of all vulnerable senior citizens of 70 years and above between July and August 2017 and a total of 523,129 new beneficiaries were successfully registered.
In April and May this year, the Ministry validated and enrolled 411,013 new beneficiaries into the programme through electronic bank account opening countrywide.
Emphasizing the importance of unity for development, President Kenyatta urged Meru leaders to shelve political differences and join hands to serve the citizens.
The President asked CS Munya and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi to shake hands to signify an end to animosity between them.
“We want the people of Meru to be united under their leaders for development to realised. You are all brothers and sisters, the political bickering between the people of Imenti, Igembe and Tigania must come to an end,” President Kenyatta urged the leaders.
The Head of State reminded leaders that the time for political competition is long gone and they should settle down to serve Kenyans.
“Kenyans want electricity, good roads, clean water, quality education for their children but not endless politics which won’t benefit them,” President Kenyatta said.
Deputy President William Ruto urged leaders to embark on working to deliver service to citizens, saying the season for politics is now over.
Meru leaders who spoke at the event – attended by Members of Parliament from across the country and the East African region, and senior Governmental officials – thanked President Kenyatta for appointing CSs Munya and Margaret Kobia to Cabinet positions.