Former Nyeri MP seeking financial help to offset huge hospital bill after longstanding illness
The family of former Kieni MP Nemesyus Warugongo is desperately seeking the help of well-wishers to assist him in offsetting his medical bill that has now accumulated to in excess of Sh 15 million.
Warugongo’s family says the bill is informed by a huge fee he was charged at a Nairobi hospital where he stayed at an intensive care unit for four months and over three months in the general ward.
According to his eldest son Stanley Maina, the former lawmaker who served as a one-time MP between 2007 to 2013 has been battling severe pneumonia and other complications since December last year.
Maina said that their father who is now under home care medical management has undergone two throat operations in the last one year after he completely failed to feed well making him weaker by day.
The son told journalists that his father started by exhibiting continual chest complications, constant coughs and inability to feed well.
To sustain his health that has for months been deteriorating, the family of the former MP who has been on oxygen has been forced to sell property such as land, vehicles among other items.
Maina said that some of their property were given out to the hospital as collateral to secure his release as the family could not bear the huge hospital cost.
Since Warugongo started ailing, the family said they have spent over Sh 20 million on medication including purchase of expensive drugs that he has to take daily.
Having been a one-term, Maina regretted that his father did not receive any pension or benefits from the government and was only facilitated by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) whose limit depleted in the first weeks of his hospitalization.
His sentiments were echoed by the current Kieni MP Kanini Kega who revealed that most former MPs are not only grappling to better their lives but to also put food on the table.
Kega who is also the Budget and Appropriation Committee of National Assembly and who visited the family at their home said he would table a motion to ensure that all public servants are given pension to support their lives when they retire.
Warugongo’s situation highlights one of the reasons parliamentarians have been pushing for hefty packs and pension after retirement in August 2020.
The politicians had earlier proposed that they, alongside their spouses should be allowed to retain a medical scheme of Sh 10 million for the inpatient cover per family, Sh 300,000 for the outpatient cover, Sh 150,000 for maternity and Sh 75,000 for dental care, a plan that did not materialise after parliament failed to pass the bill.
Their efforts to later seek awarding former MPs Sh 100,000 as monthly pension was also thwarted after President Uhuru Kenyatta declined to ascend to the bill.
To help him pay for his bills, Warugongo’s family has organised a fundraising that will be held on November 26 at Panafric Hotel in Nairobi.
The family is also requesting Kenyans of good will who will not manage to make it at the Upper Hill-based hotel to support them via Pay Bill number 192369.