Polygamous families are poised to encounter further deductions to cover their households under President William Ruto’s Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF).
This follows the Ministry of Health’s classification of men with two wives as two separate households, irrespective of the number of dependents in each household.

During an appearance before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Health yesterday, the Ministry of Health faced criticism from the committee for implementing a discriminatory regulation.

According to the legislators, this regulation overlooks the rights of individuals in polygamous marriages, despite such unions being constitutionally permitted.

The lawmakers thus demanded regulatory adjustments to ensure that polygamous marriages adhere to the same deductions criteria applied to monogamous relationships.

“You are going against the laws of Kenya that allow polygamy. If you treat a household with two wives as two households it is double jeopardy,” stated MP Julius Sunkuli.

“Don’t run away from the definition that wife is in singular spouse does not mean it is one spouse,” the legislator added.

Even so, the Ministry of Health defended its decision, stating that the new Act aims to create equity among SHIF beneficiaries.

Under the new health fund, men with more than one wife must pay 2.75% for each household, for instance, those with two wives will face a 5.5% deduction of their gross salary, while those with three wives face an 8.25% deduction.

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