5,000 students stranded in Kilifi as County Government and County Assembly wrangles...

5,000 students stranded in Kilifi as County Government and County Assembly wrangles over scholarship fund

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More than five thousand students entitled to benefit from the scholarship fund in Kilifi County are reportedly stranded at home due to lack of schools fees after the County government and County Assembly differed on the procedure to follow in distribution of the funds.

The kshs 140 million scholarship fund kitty was supposed to have been released by the National Treasury by December last year but was abruptly stopped by the county executive.

Kilifi county scholarship fund committee chairperson, Getrude Mbeyu Mwanyanje says the controversy took center stage when the Kilifi county Secretary Owen Baya wrote to stop the release of the scholarship fund to county treasury.

“We were shocked to get the communication that no money was available in the scholarship kitty as we neared the re-opening of schools,” Mwanyanje said.

“We learnt later that the county secretary had stopped the release from the national treasury on reasons best known to him.”

Mwanyaje said the county secretary has been snubbing summons to appear before the scholarship committee to update them on the state of the fund.

“We called him (Owen Baya) to tell the committee what was going on regarding the scholarship fund but he never honored our summons even once,” added Mwanyanje.

“We don’t know why he insists the account of the kitty to remain at Equity bank where we lose nearly Kshs. 1 million every transaction we make. He needs to clear the air.”

On his side, Kilifi county Secretary Owen Baya rubbished the claims saying he never supported the account to remain at Equity bank but stopped the release of the fund following an improper procedure of the procurement process used to transfer the kitty to National bank.

“The county assembly passed a motion to transfer the scholarship fund kitty from Equity bank to National Bank but un-procedural,” said Baya.

A quote from a letter dated 30th December 2015 written by the county secretary said, “ I have reviewed the documents submitted and I note that the procurement as per the PPDA 2015 procedure for the opening of a Bank account with National Bank has not been followed. This is therefore to direct that status quo is maintained until such a time when the law is adhered to.”