Kenyan MPs on the spot over CDF education cash

February 9, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – A local Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) has put Members of Parliament on the spot, insisting they too have questions to answer over the missing free education funds.

International Centre for Policy and Conflict Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina said on Tuesday that MPs should explain how they spent Sh30 million allocated to every constituency to construct centres of excellence.

“What do they know about the education scandal? Each and every MP owes Kenyans an explanation where the money to construct the schools is or show us the centres of excellence or at least their progress,” he stressed, saying Parliamentarians were uncharacteristically quiet on the scandal facing the education sector.

He told Capital News that the MPs were unlikely to put pressure on the dismissal of Education Minister Professor Sam Ongeri, alleging that some of them are partners in squandering education funds.

Mr Wainaina described the scam as a conspiracy that involved top education officials running down to junior officers.  “The rot in the Education Ministry is deeper than people think, it moves from heads of primary and secondary schools all the way to the top.”

He hoped that the minister will spill the beans before his exit. “The Education Minister almost alluded to that when he was responding to the Prime Minister, and in his words he said before the end of this, he will say something.  I believe he knows more than meets the eye.”

In last year’s budget the Finance Ministry allocated Sh1.5billion to upgrade two primary schools in every constituency.

It also allocated Sh6billion for the construction of a secondary school as a centre of excellence in each constituency, giving Sh30million per constituency.

Mr Wainaina blamed President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga for not providing leadership due to their failure to take action.  He said speaking and acting were very different tactics in any responsible leadership.

Though Mr Odinga has asked Mr Ongeri to step down, Mr Wainaina believes the two principals read from different scripts an indication that they are not working together.

“They are equal partners, it was not right for Mr Kibaki and Mr Raila to go in public where the Premier appears to be saying, “look I have spoken this matter with the President, he is not doing it, so I have decided to come to the public” that was quite an embarrassment,” he said.

He accused them of pretending and giving the public a false face of teamwork which has been nonchalant in reality.


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