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The elderly, persons with severe disability, orphans and vulnerable children from Kiganjo, Kamenu and Kianjau Sub-Locations of Thika Sub-County on Wednesday converged at the Christian Industrial  Training College (CITC) to register for the 'Pesa ya Wazee' programme that is ran by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development.

Addressing the potential beneficiaries, Aisha Mohammed, an official at the Social Ministry notified them that they were all expected to register regardless of whether they had done so in the previous exercises. She dispelled the rumours that was going round that the attendance register was being used to corruptly claim the money meant for the elderly people. She assured them that no money was being lost and the register was just for official use to identify those in attendance.

She warned them of some unscrupulous people posing as ministry's officials, who were going round the estates demanding money for registering those in need. She told them that the registration was free and should always be done through their selected representatives only.

She notified them that under the new rules, to qualify for the monthly stipend from the Government under the Cash Transfer Fund for the Elderly, one had to be aged 65 years and above, have a 2nd Generation ID Card, must be living in abject poverty, must have lived in his/her current residence for at least one year, should not be earning any money under the government's pension scheme or have grown up kids who are financially able to take care of their aging parents.

For the case of the persons living in disability, the government was only catering for those with severe disability. She added that registration was not final. The ministry officials would then visit the homes of those who had been shortlisted, in order to assess and verify the genuine cases.

She warned that any one found to have registered for more than one programme would lose out on the benefits. She said that double registration was an offense and could lead one to be aligned in court for fraud.

They were later grouped according to their regions (Kianjau, Kamenu and Kiganjo) where each would identify 30 beneficiaries amongst themselves. To guarantee fairness to all, each region was further sub-divided into smaller clusters due to the vastness of the regions so as to ensure that only the most deserving cases were shortlisted.

Mohammed pleaded with them to be fair enough even to register those who were not able to attend the registration exercise due to various reasons but according to them, deserved the assistance. The groups were each expected to select two new representatives who would be liaising with the ministry officials on behalf of the beneficiaries.

Other than some isolated cases of undeserving people trying to unsuccessfully force their way into the kitty, the exercise ended smoothly after about two and a half hours.

Present to oversee the exercise was Makongeni Chief Mr. Waiguru, Kamenu Ass. Chief and Mr. Gitau the Ass. Chief Kianjau Sub-Location.

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