FPE scandal haunts Ongeri as teachers, KUPPET officials want him probed
Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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KUPPET executive secretary Trans Nzoia branch Furaha Lusweti during a function at Friends Bwake secondary school in Trans Nzoia East recently where he said Foreign Affairs minister Prof Sam Ongeri (L) should be investigated over the FPE scandal. [Photo|Leonard Wamalwa|West Fm]
Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. Sam Ongeri still remains a haunted man as the ghosts of the lost money meant for the Free Primary Education (FPE) in his former Education ministry haunt him even as he acquaints himself with his new ministry.
Stakeholders in the education sector from Trans Nzoia County have called on President Mwai Kibaki to put in place modalities for Ongeri to have his name cleared over the lost Kshs4.2 billion meant for FPE before he is allowed to settle in his new office.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers -KUPPET officials from the Trans Nzoia branch led by their executive secretary Furaha Lusweti have challenged President Kibaki to show Kenyans his commitment in fighting graft in the country by having the now Foreign Affairs minister probed for the truth about the funds to come out clearly.
Speaking during an education ceremony in Trans Nzoia East district, the officials who also included branch chairman Eliud Wekesa and KNUT chair Camily Wakoli said that it was not in order for the minister to be transferred to another ministry when many questions still linger over his responsibility in the lost funds.
"We want President Kibaki to show to Kenyans his commitment to weed out corruption in the country by having the minister fully investigated to pave way for the recovery of the money through arraigning him in court or if he is forgiven then let Kenyans know," said Lusweti.
However he pointed out that the removal of the minister from the education docket left a sigh of relief on the stakeholders claiming that the professor was supervising and overseeing corruption of the highest order but has since been let go scot-free at the expense of the education of poor Kenyan children who were supposed to benefit from the funds.
Lusweti added that “the ministry is yet to be freed from another non-committed leader in the ministry in the name of Permanent Secretary Prof James Ole Kiyiapi” whom he wished kept his promise of resigning this month to go for politics so that a more competent PS can be assigned to the ministry.
The officials further reiterated their firm stands to oppose the introduction of national schools in the area saying that the schools are not assisting the poor parents and children who used to access affordable education in the schools when they were still on provincial status.
They also noted that the recruitment of the students was the worst bit of it citing St Brigids Girls national school where only five students from within Trans Nzoia were selected to join form one this year.
The school fees was also said to be another factor whereby the schools are now said to be double charging as compared to last year when they were still provincial schools.
"School fees in the so called national schools has become unaffordable to parents because a school like St Brigids is now charging not less than Kshs 70,000 as compared to last year when it was Kshs 35,000 per year hence our poor parents cannot manage to sustain their children at the schools," the officials noted.
They thus proposed that the government comes up with a program of constructing new national schools other than taking over the already constructed schools that had been constructed earlier own by the communities and other stakeholders including churches.