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William Ruto pledges to cut NHIF monthly fees, give waivers to poor

Deputy President William Ruto received a Rabbit as a gift from one of his supporters at Maela in Naivasha Nakuru county during the Kenya Kwanza political rally. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has pledged to lower minimum NHIF contributions from Sh500 to Sh300, and offer waivers to poor households. 

He said waivers will apply to those unable to pay the monthly rates to ensure the nation had a truly universal healthcare service.

Speaking at Mbeere South during a visit to Embu and neighbouring Kirinyaga County, the DP said he was concerned about delayed monthly disbursements to the most vulnerable including the elderly, terminally ill, widows, orphans and the disabled.

“Our government will recognise that this group requires money more urgently than anybody else and will pay this group their monthly rates before it pays any salaries, including for the president,” said Dr Ruto.

At the same time, speaking at Kirinyaga, home turf of Azimio running mate Martha Karua, Dr Ruto asked locals to reject those hiding behind local sons and daughters. He told the residents to bear in mind that the competitor was Raila.

“I know you will reject him even if he comes hiding behind Uhuru Kenyatta or Martha Karua,” Dr Ruto said.

He accused the handshake pact of slowing the Jubilee economic agenda and of leading to waste when trying to steam roll the collapsed Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

The Deputy President once again lashed at the “deep state” for seeking to ruin his presidential bid.

He told residents of Mbere South that there were formidable challenges in his political journey including the “system.”

“There are those relying solely on those networks. But we are saying they can have a godfather but we have God the Father,” Dr Ruto told an Anglican Church of Kenya congregation at St John Karaba Parish.

He also went for the soul of the church pledging that a Kenya Kwanza government was committed to upholding State-religious organisations’ partnership.

“I do know that the church is concerned about recent declarations on government regulation but we give our assurances that no denomination, even of three members, will be closed,” he added.

While at Keruguoya town, he urged voters to reject a government that had resolved to prioritise constitutional reform rather than economic revival.

“We are very clear in Kenya Kwanza that this country needs creation of jobs, generation of wealth and spurring of food production than anything else,” said Dr Ruto.

The DP was with his running mate Rigathi Gachagua. 

Others in the visit which also covered Kagio and Mwea areas were ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi.