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Over NHIF Deductions, Baringo Farmers Threaten to Snub Kimalel Goat Auction

During Jamhuri Day celebrations on Wednesday in Kabartonjo, Kiptis said the money will be deducted.

Bartabwa MCA Reuben Chepsongol on Friday urged Governor Stanley Kiptis to withdraw the NHIF deduction idea or farmers would boycott the auction slated for December 22.

Baringo Farmers in have threatened to snub the Kimalel goat auction, fearing part of their proceeds will be deducted towards NHIF contributions.

“You should address this because people are not well informed. They are not happy to have part of their benefits slashed to pay for the medical scheme,” he said.

“If a farmer sells two or three goats at Sh10,000 or Sh12,000, what is the bitterness of one being asked to part with Sh6,000 for NHIF?” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are expected to attend the auction.

Kiptis said having NHIF cover is for the farmers’ benefit. The Sh6,000 is for the annual contribution.

“I gave the auction committees, MCAs and chiefs two months to sit down with the farmers and they endorsed it. If there was a problem, they should have said earlier,” he said.

“This is just the beginning; our people should be educated to utilise their wealth to contribute towards covering their health.”

Last Saturday, farmers opposed the contribution, saying they were not involved in talks.

Philip Muter from Kapkuikui in Baringo South said, “As much as NHIF is good, I have to understand how to go about it, then I can be able to give my annual contributions voluntarily, rather than being forced to do it through the sale of my goats.”

The farmer said he has other pressing needs, including food, paying school fees and buying clothes, which made him opt to sell his two goats.

“If I get Sh20,000 for two goats, then Sh6,000 is deducted plus some other charges and taxes, then it means I will remain with little cash compared to the mountain of needs I have,” Muter said.

Livestock executive Richard Rotich said public forums were organised to educate residents on the importance of joining NHIF.

He said joining the scheme will be on a voluntary basis.

“We are just beginning the idea so we expect resistance, but with time, our farmers will understand. But for now it is voluntary, we will not discriminate anybody based on whether he or she accepts to join the scheme or not,” Rotich said.

Last year, Uhuru, Ruto and other leaders spent Sh12 million on 1,000 goats.

Some 2,300 goats were sold worth Sh23 miilion.

“We expect a similar or a better outcome this time round,” Rotich said.


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