Put village elders on public payroll, Kajiado leaders

New Olelilai DCC, Justin Maina being introduced by Interior CS, Fred Matiang’i at a public function in Kajiado Central recently. Photo/File

By Our Reporter
A section of Kajiado leaders rallied behind village elders pushing the Government to extend a monthly stipend to the arguably forgotten lot.

Speaking in Kajiado in a public forum recently, the leaders led by Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku urged the government to fast-track a policy to ensure village elders are put on the public payroll.

Lenku said the village elders act as “shadow” administrators acting as linking  administrative unit with the village and,therefore, deserve to be remunerated by the National government.

The Governor who once served as interior cabinet secretary, said  that during his tenure the government introduced  ” Nyumba Kumi initiative” but did not replace village elders because of  their pivotal role in the society.

“Village elders remain the biggest facet to successful administration in any government .The elders aid in dispute resolution, fight against female Gentle Mutilation (FGM) and security concerns in the villages yet they lead life of squalor, “ stated Lenku.

His sentiments were echoed by Kajiado East legislator Peris Tobiko and her Kajiado Central counterpart Elijah Memusi.

Ms Tobiko said Parliament had deliberated on village elders’ stipend proposals in March 2019 but nothing had come out of the motion by the MP for Tharaka, George Murugara.

She further stressed the need to ensure the village elders do not turn into beggars to be able to serve the residents.

“Most villagers rely of local chiefs and their assistants to get fare and other facilitation to enable them to work.The government cannot empower local administrators and forget village elders.It is counterproductive, “ noted Ms Tobiko

Kajiado Central MP Elijah Memusi said village elders are a force to reckon with in Kajiado villages  as they assist in the war against retrogressive culture. He argued that  they require a  regular salary, that  include provisions of free NHIF cover, uniforms, and modest offices in their respective areas of work.

“Village elders play a vital role in the villages. They live in the villages and most of them act as snitches to the security apparatus. They are the engine that drive the local administration unit countrywide,” said Memusi.

A village elder who spoke on condition of anonymity in Isinya sub-county said some village elders hardly afford a meal to their families.

Countrywide, thousands of village elders, live in deplorable conditions.

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