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Elderly man dies after queuing for two days for Sh2k stipend

A 70-year-old man collapsed and died after queuing for two days at a local in Garissa for his share of money paid by the government through a cash transfer programme for the elderly, poor and disabled on Tuesday.

According to family members, the deceased Hassan Haji Keinan, who was physically challenged and suffered from hypertension, had travelled from Mataarba village in Hulugho Sub County to Garissa to receive his stipend.

The payment of the funds, which is channeled through the post office, was changed and channeled through the local bank.

According to the deceased’s family, Keinan died after queuing for two days at the Garissa branch as thousands of people made long queues to get their share of Sh8,000, which had accumulated for four months from their monthly rate Sh2,000.


“After reaching the counter, the cashier told him that there was no money to be paid to him since his name was not on the list. The old man started sweating profusely, collapsed and died on his way to the Garissa Level 5 hospital”, said Gurshed Hasan, his son.

Mr Hassan told the media that his father had complained of palpitation while on the queue and collapsed. He later died on arrival at Garissa Provincial Hospital.

Mr Hassan disclosed that his father had borrowed Sh2,000 from a local trader promising to pay back when he received his stipend from the bank.

A Spot-check by KNA revealed that there were long queues of the elderly, people with disabilities and women with orphaned and vulnerable children at the branch waiting for their share of the stipend.

The bank has only one branch in Garissa County. Customers and beneficiaries from the seven sub counties of Garissa have to queue for days to be served at the only banking outlet.


The chairman of People with Disabilities from Hulugho and Ijara sub county Abass Haji Shurie criticized the government for frustrating the beneficiaries of the social welfare fund by forcing them to travel to Garissa to get their money.

Mr Shurie said initially, they used to get their welfare funds through their respective postal offices, noting that now they were required to travel to Garissa from all corners of the sub counties.

He appealed to the government to revert to the use of the postal offices, which are located in each sub county in future, instead of the bank, which has only one branch in the entire Garissa County.

At the same time, some beneficiaries of the fund were shocked and dejected when their finger prints could not be recognized by the digital cash transfer system at the bank.