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Ruto promises free lunch in primary school if elected president

Thursday, May 12th, 2022 11:55 | By
Deputy President William Ruto serves lunch to pupils at Mukarara Primary School in Dagoretti South, yesterday. PHOTO/DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto has promised free lunch to all public primary school pupils if he is elected president in the August election.

The DP said it was possible to put in place a law that will task the government to provide a meal to each child saying it will help to increase the number of learners and improve their retention.

Speaking at Mukarara Primary School in Dagoretti South constituency yesterday, Ruto said his administration will ensure no pupil drops out of school because of lack of food. “No child should be out of school for lack of food. That is our commitment as Kenya Kwanza,” said the DP.

Benchmark

Area MP John Kiarie has implemented a free-food programme for learners across the constituency. Ruto said they will benchmark on the constituency and roll out a similar programme nationally.

“We have seen the success of this programme in terms of retention of children in school and in terms of performance,” Ruto said.

He pledged to oversee the passage of legislation that will anchor the programme in law. “Kenya Kwanza has put in its manifesto the programme. Together with all our governors and MPs, we will ensure there will be appropriate legislation to make sure that all our children can get food in school. The way we give them books now, we will have a plan for lunch in school,” the DP added.

The DP is seeking to follow in the footsteps of previous presidential candidates who exploited the education sector for votes.

In the 2002 election, the opposition National Rainbow Coalition (Narc), whose candidate was Mwai Kibaki, pledged to offer free primary education if it won. Kibaki, who died last month, implemented the programme immediately after the election.

During second President Daniel arap Moi’s tenure, primary school children were issued free milk.

Ruto’s rival Raila Odinga has pledged a Sh6,000 monthly cash transfer to poor households if he is elected.

While in an interactive session with the members of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya at Baptist Church, Nairobi, earlier, Ruto said  more children were dropping out of school in urban areas than in arid areas.

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