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Uhuru launches KES12B social safety programme

05 February 2014, 11:17 Nechesa Chemoi

Murang'a - President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Jubilee Government’s expanded Cash Transfer Programme targeting less fortunate members in the country.

Speaking during the launch of the social safety programme at Ihura Stadium in Murang’a County on Tuesday, President Kenyatta said 454,000 households will benefit from the KES 12 billion that has been allocated for the programme this financial year.

He said the progamme must succeed, warning that no inefficiency or corruption will be tolerated in its implementation.

“Government officials and grassroots leaders involved must protect the public purse and ensure fairness in the identification of beneficiaries and in the administration of the funds.  Any malpractice will be punished severely,” President Kenyatta said.

According to President Kenyatta, the beneficiaries must be identified fairly and registered according to need and that the cash must reach them regularly and at the appropriate time, favouritism, theft or delay in making payments, will not be entertained.

“As a Government, we will jealously guard these resources because this is what the people of Kenya expect of us.  They have hope in us; they expect us to deliver; we will not fail them,” the President said.

He directed the consolidation of four cash transfer programmes that are being operated in the country to prevent duplication in the programme that started with only 500 households 10 years ago and has grown by a multiple of 908.

“If this momentum is sustained, I can proudly say that the transformation the Jubilee Government promised the people of Kenya will be achieved not in 2030, but much earlier.  Indeed, we see this happening by year 2020,” President Kenyatta said.

He said the government is commited to supporting the vulnerable households, adding that every Kenyan deserves a decent life, despite the circumstances of birth or life.

“It is in this context that we offer vulnerable sections of our society regular and predictable cash transfers,” the President said.

“The children whose households have benefited return better results at end of term, end of the year and even in national examinations,” the President said adding that the Jubilee Government is focused on making a difference in the fight against poverty.

On his part, Deputy President William Ruto said the Jubilee Government is on track in implementing the pledges it made to the people of Kenya, adding that programme will create a safety net for vulnerable Kenyans so that they are not left behind as the rest of the country moves forward.

“This is the fifth of the Jubilee pledges to be launched after free maternity services, police vehicles to beef up security, airport and the Standard Gauge Railway and the million acre irrigation project,” said Ruto.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore offered to provide mobile handsets to all beneficiaries of the cash transfer who do not have the mobile gadgets to enable them receive the funds through the mobile platform, a move that was welcomed by the DP.

The Cash Transfer is a unique social assistance programme through which the Government will ensure vulnerable Kenyans are protected from the harsh effects of poverty, said Labour, Social Security and Services Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi.

He said his Ministry has streamlined the programme to ensure it benefits the targeted groups and that the ministry will continuously review the payment system to ensure that the delivery mechanisms are transparent, accountable and responsive to the beneficiaries.

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