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Finland Scholarship Fraud: DPP orders arrest of Mandago and three others

Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has ordered the arrest of Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago and three others over Finland and Canada Overseas Education Programme scandal.

The senator together with Joseph Kipkemoi Maritim, Meshak Rono and Joshua Kipkemoi Lelei, are wanted are wanted by police for prosecution over the county’s scholarship scam.

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They are supposed to face charges of forgery, abuse of office, conspiracy to commit a felony and stealing.

They are accused of conspiring to steal Ksh 1 billion from an account domiciled at the Kenya Commercial Bank in Eldoret registered under the Uasin Gishu Education Trust Fund meant for overseas university fees for students under Uasin Gishu County Overseas Education Programme.

According to the detectives handling the matter, they had tried to reach the wanted officials in vain as they claimed they were attending the Devolution Conference in Eldoret town which prompted police to move to Nakuru law courts to seek warrants to arrest the suspects.

Last week, Mandago and the other officials were grilled at the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) headquarters by a team that is investigating the Finland and Canada overseas education programme.

Mandago confirmed the grilling but did not disclose what he told the officers on his possible role in the saga.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has also been investigating allegations of embezzlement of over Ksh 837 million by officials.

 

The funds in question were collected from parents for the facilitation of Tertiary Education in Finland and Canada during the FY 2021/2022.

According to the EACC, Mandago was interviewed as a person of interest after summons were issued to appear before the Commission.

The former Governor was summoned to assist the Commission in its investigations considering his role as the Chief Executive Officer of the County Government of Uasin Gishu when the Overseas Trust Fund was conceptualized and operationalized.

As Governor, he also exercised oversight over the Department of Youth & Gender and Sports Affairs, where the program was domiciled, and he is alleged to have played key roles in the adoption of the programme.

The Uasin Gishu Education Trust Fund Account was opened in May 2021 and by December 2022, a total of over Ksh 957 million had been credited to the account by Parents.

A total of Ksh 257,326,740 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.

The investigation was to reveal if any embezzlement took place in the process.

Similarly, the probe was to focus on over Ksh 57 million withdrawn locally by the county officials appointed to manage the Trust Fund Account.

On his twitter handle today, Senator Mandogo says he has met with the leadership of parents demanding refunds and agreed on the way foward as per their press statement issued on Tuesday evening.

He also noted that he was available once summoned.

There are rumours all over Eldoret Town that DCI Officers have been looking for me the whole night. As a law abiding citizen, I am available once summoned. I have met with the leadership of parents and agreed on the way foward as per their press statement issued last evening.

 

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