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Nairobi abolishes free maternity as government fails to pay bills

29 October 2015, 14:40 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The Nairobi County government has abolished free maternity in the city after the national government failed to reimburse KES 165 million in payments.

Governor Evans Kidero said Thursday that the move was necessitated by the high expenditure of the County government and lack of refunds from the government.

" This free maternity was a project of the national government in conjunction with the Counties. The government was to foot the bills incurred but it has not and now we are left with no choice but to abolish it," he said.

The project had been announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta who had then said that the Jubilee government was committed to ensuring that maternity for Kenyan women is free as part of its manifesto.

Kidero stated that the burden of paying doctors and nurses had now been transferred to the County government for maternity services and that it was too expensive to commit to.

" We cannot afford it and unless the government does so, we will be forced to charge for maternity services," he added.

The government has been undergoing a cash crunch in recent times and it is not yet certain if this is the reason for the lack of payment.

Treasury has noted that the lack of money is due to the failure by the Kenya Revenue Authority to hit its targets for the month of October.

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