On Monday, Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago had an awkward situation when discussing the Finland education program with parents and pupils.
Governor Jonathan Bii was joined by representatives of the Uasin Gishu County Government.
Even as the EACC continues to look into the suspected misappropriation of Sh837 million by officials of the Uasin Gishu County Government, both Bii and Mandago have denied impropriety in the administration of money provided by parents for their children’s tuition.
A parent objected to Mandago’s reported statements that parents never paid school fees during contributions by standing up and stating that they were untrue.
A Finnish university had admitted 51 students, of whom 26 were enrolled in nursing courses and 25 were seeking degrees, he claimed.
“For Hon Mandago to say parent’s never paid fees is false,” he said.
But before he could continue, the senator cut him short saying ‘ngoja kidogo’ (wait a bit) to which other parents responded with hand gestures and shouts for him to let the parent conclude his statement.
“No! no! no!, I can not allow you to go further,” Mandago said.
“I’m not in dispute of what he has just said, but is there anywhere I said parents never paid fees?” the senator asked.
In an apparent admission that he was at fault over that claim, the parent somewhat dropped that line of engagement and sought to continue.
“Tulia, tulia Mr Mandago, tulia,” he said as the senator sought to clarify he said parents paid for fees.
“Tulia, you must be emotionally intelligent, tulia. You had your time na umezungumuza mengi kwangu but it’s okay, it’s right,” the parent said.
From pride to fall very fast!!
Mandago 1st meeting with parents VS Mandago in today’s meeting!!
Reuben Chepses vs @GvnMandago show down!!
Today the lion’s ego was crushed!! pic.twitter.com/weCoqYPi3i
— Talai_ (@Ka_nda_) August 7, 2023
At the start of the meeting, Mandago had prevailed upon attendees to remain calm and give everyone time to make their submissions.
“We all don’t have the same ideas, let everyone say what they have to say, don’t tell them to keep quiet,” he said.
“We want to listen to every parent who has something to say, we want to listen to everybody. Anyone who has evidence says it, that’s why we are here,” he added.
According to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, there are 233 students studying in Finland while 45 are in Canada.
The commission said funds for children who had not yet travelled were used to pay second-semester fees for those already in overseas universities.
EACC said investigations will reveal any embezzlement that may have taken place in the process.
“A total of Sh257,326,740 was debited from the Uasin Gishu Overseas Account to beneficiaries indicated as agents and/or intermediaries for onward transmission to Universities in Finland and Canada,” EACC said in a statement on August 1.
The commission further said the probe will focus on Sh57,538,429 withdrawn locally by the county officials appointed to manage the Trust Fund Account.