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Senior citizens’ stipends hit a snag in Kwale

Some beneficiaries of the government cash transfer programme in Kwale County cannot be paid their stipends due to a technical hitch that has affected those with Kenya Commercial Bank accounts.
The cards have failed to reflect in the bank’s system hence no payment can be made, according to officials from the State Department of Social Protection.
They, however, said that the other three banks namely Co-operative, Equity, and Post Bank are not affected and disbursement is progressing smoothly for the targeted older persons, orphans, and people with severe disabilities.
Those affected protested over the delay in accessing the cash whose payment resumed in March after a six-month-long hiatus to allow for the adoption of a new foolproof mode of remittance to stamp out corruption.
According to the programme coordinator, Mr. Steven Gitahi, the challenge of some of the bank cards not being recognized was being experienced countrywide and not only in Kwale.
“The problem which affects only those in KCB has been reported across the country and is being addressed at the command center in Nairobi with a guarantee it will be solved,” he said.
Nyamawi Mwandia whose mother is among senior citizens benefiting under the Inua Jamii initiative said the bank had given an assurance that their money was safe and will be paid once the matter is resolved.
“I have for the last three days, been visiting the bank along with my aged mother so that she can be paid in vain. We are asked to wait every time we get there,” a frustrated Mwandia from Mazumalume village in TsimbaGolini ward said.
He said it was expensive and tiresome to keep going to the bank with their old parents only to be told they cannot access the money.
This is the first time the new payment method dubbed the “Choice Model” is being tried since its roll-out in 2018. The programme targets 710,000 beneficiaries who will receive Sh12.3 billion countrywide.
The Government has released the cash as direct payment to beneficiaries through their accounts.
More than 17,000 people are benefiting from the stipends in Kwale with each taking home Sh12,000 this being payment for three missed cycles spanning from September 2018 to February 2019, according to County Director of Social Services, Ms. Consolata Machuko.
By Constance Mwandembo/James Muchai

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