“Hakuna kubembelezana” – Ruto addresses Uasin Gishu Scholarship Scandal

President William Ruto has broken his silence on the Finland and Canada scholarship scandal, which has stranded hundreds of students and left scores of parents reeling from their losses.
The Head of State, who was in Uasin Gishu on Wednesday for the start of the three-day Devolution Conference, said he was aware of the scandal and urged anyone who may have misappropriated funds for the scholarship to initiate refunds.

“Mambo ya Finland najua tuko na matatizo, kuna wazazi wametoa pesa na pesa yao haijulikani iko wapi,”President Ruto told residents¬† “Kama kuna mtu alikula hiyo pesa ajipange kulipa mapema ama ataingia taabani,”

“Hakuna maneno ya kubembelezana, pesa ya ngombe ya mtu ama aliuza shamba lazima arudishiwe pesa yake.
President Ruto stated that the government will also assist students who were duped by the scholarship scheme by providing scholarships, albeit locally.

“Hapo mbele wakati uchaguzi utakuwa umekamilika tutaweza kusaidia wale watoto ambao wameshikwa kwa hii maneno, wapate scholarship hapa ndio tuweze kuendelea mbele,” he added.

According to Ruto, while the government will step in to assist those affected, those found responsible will not be let off the hook.

In the scandal that has unfolded in recent weeks, over 200 parents recorded statements with the DCI in Eldoret after it became apparent that millions of shillings had gone missing from the Uasin Gishu Overseas Education Trust scholarship bank account.

The account is said to have received a total of Ksh.837,855,889 from over 200 students who travelled to Finland to pursue various courses at various universities and colleges between May 2021 and December 2022.

Documents obtained by Citizen Television detailed questionable withdrawals from the Trust Account totaling millions of shillings.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) discovered during investigations that Meshack Rono, the county’s Director for Education, allegedly withdrew Ksh.18,363,689, followed by Maritim, the county’s Chief Officer Education, who allegedly withdrew Ksh.14,486,700, and Lelei, the Chief Officer, Vocational Training, who allegedly withdrew Ksh. 5,683,400.

In March 2023, students faced deportation because some universities had not received fees for the second semester and the county could not remit any money as per their agreements.

Due to unpaid tuition and accommodation fees, one of the universities terminated its cooperation agreement with Uasin Gishu and Elgeiyo Marakwet counties on March 1st.

So far, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions has ordered that Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago and three others be prosecuted in connection with the saga.

The other officials are Joseph Kipkemoi Maritim, Meshak Rono and Joshua Kipkemoi Lelei.

Mandago, along with his co-accused, have been accused of conspiring to steal Ksh.1.1 billion from a Kenya Commercial Bank account in Eldoret registered under Uasin Gishu Education Trust Fund meant for overseas university fees for students under the Uasin Gishu County Overseas Education Program.

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