Kajiado Jubilee ‘rebel’ MCAs will not be allowed to disburse bursary funds to needy students in their wards, 25 MCAs ruled on Wednesday.
This happened moments Governor Joseph Lenku launched Sh150 million bursary fund kitty to be disbursed to needy students from the county on September 18.
During the cheque issuance ceremony at KCB grounds, Lenku said gone are the days that children in the county could not access education due to historical inhibitions like famine, drought, and retrogressive cultural practices.
“My government is determined to ensure that the children of this generation do not go through literacy challenges as their parents did,” said Lenku.
He further added that the upward trajectory on bursary allocation, currently at Sh150M is a testimony to his resolve towards the betterment of the education in the county.
The Governor further said the sector-based infrastructure developments and the emphasis on TIVETS in skills training are bound to address the gaps in tertiary education especially for out of school youth.
He asked school heads to be tolerant and desist from sending away children from school due to unpaid school fees occasioned by delayed bursary funds.
Lenku also promised to pursue provisions for inclusion of special interest groups in bursary awards in the next financial year.
“The county will continue to build on gains and develop ingenious ways of fostering development to make our people’s lives more bearable,” he said.
Education CEC Jeremiah Ncharo was emphatic about the milestones in the education sector including enhanced budgets for the bursary, human resource, and infrastructure developments.
He, however, noted that most beneficiaries of the bursaries were seeking education opportunities outside the county.
“The level education and performance has greatly improved and I believe our schools can match the performance levels of other established ones in the country,” he said.
He advised that the quality of education in county schools is adequate and urged parents to consider retaining their children in county schools rather than seeking education elsewhere based on perceptions.
The event took place in Kajiado town and was attended by 25 MCAs allied to governor Lenku, who for the last two weeks have not been seeing eye-to-eye with Speaker Johnson Osoi.
Until last week, Lenku had vowed to ensure that he would unleash MCAs allied to him to impeach Osoi.
Those in support of Lenku are led by the leader of the majority in the Assembly, Julius Moipaai, while those supporting Osoi are led by nominated MCA, Onesmus Ngogoyo.
But before the debate came up on Wednesday, Lenku said his number one duty as Kajiado governor is to ensure that no child will miss school because of lack of fees.
“Most of our people did not acquire good education because of either our retrogressive practices or due to undesired leadership from those who came before us,” claimed Lenku.
He said the way of life in regards to the education of the county’s children will never be the same again, adding that he will keep on increasing funds for the bursary kitty in tandem with the rising demand.
The governor did not mention anything about the distribution of bursaries in the wards, but it was Moipaai who came up with the plan which appeared to be aimed at ‘punishing’ those who failed to attend the governor’s bursary launch.
Lenku said 6000 beneficiaries from Kajiado have received their bursary cheques in the second phase of disbursement of Sh40million funds from the allocated County bursary kitty for this year.
In his argument, Moipaai claimed all the Jubilee MCAs along with the opposition had been officially invited to grace the governor’s event, but that they failed to heed the invitation because “they support other forces that go against the governor”.
It was during then that the majority leaders proposed that those who did not attend the governor’s function would be denied to disburse the bursaries.
“Those who missed will not get bursaries from the County…their cheques will be issued by Ward Admins, and in case of they are absent the chiefs will do the job,” said Moipaai.
His proposal was endorsed by all the 25 MCAs present and the County Education CEC Member was given the task to implement what was passed.
Moipaai said MCAs; Onesmus Ngogoyo (nominated), Moses Saoyo (Keek-Onyokie), Joseph Masiaya (Magadi), Martin Kimemia (Oloolua), Henry Kimiti (Kenyewa/Poka), Francis Kaesha (Oloosirkon), Robert Muoria (Ngong) and Mwathi Pere (Ongata Rongai) had been invited along others but failed to turn up.
Moipaai, at the same time, told governor Lenku to step aside and allow him to take on Speaker Osoi, adding that impeachment of the speaker is “unstoppable.”
Ngogoyo dismissed as “non-issue” their plan to stop elected MCAs from using their committee members to distribute the said funds.
“This is a laughable, unrealistic and primitive way of doing things in this 21st Century. The money in question does not belong to Lenku, and if he wants to remain with that money, let him carry them to Lenkisim,” said Ngogoyo.
He said he is surprised that even the governor does not understand the laws that govern the distribution of bursaries.
“Whom does he think he will hurt if he stops the distribution of the bursaries? By law, he is also not allowed to disburse the money. Let him know that the power to disburse that money is vested with the county assembly,” said Ngogoyo finally.