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Kakamega leaders want heroes included in stipend

WESTERN
By Eric Lungai | January 23rd 2017
Decorated World War II veteran Joseph Inima

Leaders want the national government to set up proper structures to sustain heroes and heroines, and consider the elderly among them for the monthly stipend.

Governor Moses Akaranga, Hamisi MP Charles Gimose, African Divine Church Archbishop John Chabuga and Central Maragoli Ward MCA Abdala Chogo said it was unfortunate that many heroes who had fought for the country's freedom were poor.

"After fighting for the country's pride in whatever sector of life, one should be honoured to the last day of his life. It is unfortunate that many of our national heroes have been beggars before their cries are heard," Mr Akaranga said.

The leaders spoke at the requiem mass for decorated World War II veteran Joseph Inima, 100, who was buried at his Gisambai home on Saturday.

"The medals that some of these national heroes are given cannot put food on their tables; they need help," said Mr Chabuga.

Mr Inima took pride in having been mandated by President Jomo Kenyatta to start the first National Youth Service (NYS) after the country attained independence. He was the first African NYS commandant in 1963, after his exploits in World War II.

Mr Chogo said it was unfortunate that some national heroes such as Joe Kadenge had to cry for help from the Government before they were helped.

PROPER STRUCTURES

"If proper structures were put in place to help all those heroes who have helped the country in one way or the other, then we would not have cases of begging," he said.

Mr Gimose noted a huge disparity in the distribution of the monthly stipend as only a handful of elderly people in his constituency received it.

"It is unfortunate that in Hamisi constituency, those persons above 65 years and who get the monthly stipend are fewer that even 200, yet some constituencies elsewhere have more than 2,000 receiving the funds," he said.

The governor said there had been complaints from residents that some officers wanted the elderly to give them part of the money and threatened to de-register those who did not comply.

He said his office received many complaints from many deserving elderly people who were not receiving the stipend.

"The national government should consider sending the money to the counties so that governors can be in control," he said.

Akaranga eulogised Inima as a soldier with a big heart who fought relentlessly in his lifetime.

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