Education Ministry takes steps to curb graft

June 15, 2011 5:28 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 15 – The Ministry of Education says it will henceforth forward funds for free primary education directly to schools as a means of curbing fraud.

Permanent Secretary James Ole Kiyiapi said on Wednesday that the move was taken to ensure transparency and accountability in the management of the funds.

This follows damning revelations that Sh4.2 billion had been misappropriated by officials at the Ministry.

“We are soon introducing an electronic system that as soon as we post money to schools, we shall also post the same to our website and we shall have an SMS system where you can actually text a code number and you can know how much money went to the schools,” he said.

In the new measures, the PS said, multiple signatures will also be needed before the funds are released.

“These days, the Chief Finance Officer cannot say I am taking this money from Primary to Secondary schools. It is the Directors themselves who will say that I have this money and I want to implement this activity and I want authorisation,” he explained.

“Everything is done so carefully and after the director requests the money, this will go to the finance officer who will say the money is actually available.”

He pointed out such measures will stop the gaps in managing the movement of funds allocated to the ministry.

“We have stopped people taking cash of over Sh1 million and above,” he stated.

The Education PS also strongly defended himself against allegations of misappropriation of funds in the Ministry of Education and rubbished calls for him to resign.

Kenya Anti Corruption Commission Director Patrick Lumumba had on Tuesday called for the resignation of the Education Minister together with his PS saying it was unrealistic for the two to preside over a ministry blemished with unending scandals that have defied efforts to prosecute culprits. 

Prof ole Kiyiapi however took issue with Prof Lumumba’s statement saying that the education scam involving Sh4.2 billion happened between 2005 and 2009 before he was appointed to the docket.

“What we do not want is a mix-up of issues. Are we talking about another scandal or are we talking about what happened in 2005 – 2009, and if there is a new scandal that has happened when I am in charge here, I will take responsibility,” he stated.

“But for this, I will not take any responsibility because I was not there.”

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