- Jack Owich, 35, has been ailing for over a year, cost of medicines beyond reach.
- He says he is not seeking a cash handout, just facilitation for the medical bill.
When Deputy President William Ruto visited Kisumu town yesterday, one 35-year- old man was hopeful he would get his attention.
Dressed in a light blue shirt and dark pants, Jack Owich, a resident of Seme Kasmori village clutched a brown envelop loaded with his concern and waited for DP Ruto’s motorcade at a strategic position in the city.
“I wanted to hand over a letter to him as a last resort,” says Owich. “But due to the fracas in Kondele, I was unable to.”
The DP’s convoy was stoned by rowdy youth in the area that historically has been a political tinderbox. Police used teargas to disperse a rowdy mob and restore order.
Owich says he has been battling severe gastric problems and Helicobacter Pylori bacteria for over a year, painfully expensive to treat. To compound the pain, the NHIF cover, for which he pays KSh500 does not cater for the cost of medication.
Owich’s recent bill amounted to KSh38,950. “I do not want money from Ruto,” he says. “All I need is an assurance that my medical bill can be settled so that I get healed.”
Kisumu Bosses Unreachable
In the course of the one year he has been battling the condition, Owich has knocked on the doors of several government offices have bore no fruit. He says he tried to reach Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and Woman Representative Rosa Buyu to no avail.
Owich says contributions from family and friends have kept him going, though he is keen on a permanent solution to his ailment. Three years ago, he lost his wife and was left in the sole care of his two children-a boy (aged six and a girl, nine.
Prior to falling ill, he was a hawker in Kisumu city, selling ice-cream. He says he is eager to recover and resume his business so as to provide a better future for his children.
-Story by James Okoth