Widows and widowers in Kilifi County are crying out to the government to help them with economic empowerment as a way of sustaining their families.

The widows and widowers gathered at the Vitengeni grounds in Ganze Sub County to mark the International Widows day where it was revealed that Kilifi County alone has more than 39,000 registered widows and widowers and most of them were living in abject poverty.

The event was graced by the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the State department of Gender and Social Services Lina Chebii Kilimo, former Devolution CAS Gideon Mung’aro, Kilifi Women Representative Getrude Mbeyu and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire.

Mrs. Prudence Kai, a widow, said that widows in the area were being mistreated and harassed by their late husbands’ families especially in matters concerning inheritance.

She said that most widows were victims of alleged witchcraft as their tormentors always refer to them as witches with an aim of banishing them from the family or killing them so that they can disinherit them from their late husbands.

Mr. Tai Kuruja, a widower whose wife died 16 years ago said that most widowers were suffering in silence compared to women hence the need to identify and help them with government economic policies so that they can also feel recognized.

Kilifi Women Representative Getrude Mbeyu said that widows and widowers should be factored in the cash transfer popularly known as ‘Pesa Kwa Wazee’ since most of them were elderly and jobless.

Vitengeni Assistant County Commissioner asked widows and widowers to practice family since big families were a cause of poverty among them.

He also called on sensitization especially among men so that they can be in the fore front in the fight against discrimination of the widows and widowers.

Mrs. Kilimo advised the widows and widowers who are getting frustrated in claiming financial inheritance of their late spouses to seek help from the Unclaimed Financial Assets authority so that they can get their rights.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of https://www.ktmn.co.ke KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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