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Mombasa: Lobby group wants MCAs barred from issuing bursaries

Coast Civil Society Network for Human Rights (CCSNH) wants Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) not to be involved in the issuance of bursaries to instead stick to their oversight role.

Chairperson of the network Zedekiah Adika says MCAs should stick to their oversight role as stipulated in the constitution and the County Government Act.

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The network closely follows the circle of the budget, including the formulation of budget documents and also the expenditure and audit process of the six coastal counties.

“We have had close follow-up on the issuance of bursaries; this is not the first time the current regime is issuing bursaries,” said Adika.

He added that they have observed some loopholes and they are following up with the Abdulswamad Nassir administration to correct them.

The Civil Societies want the distribution of Mombasa County Elimu Fund bursaries to be transparent and the process should originate from the institutions of learning.

“There is a committee that should be set up at the Sub-County level that should distribute those forms, and should the County Government feel that those committees are inadequate then they should go to the office of ward administrators. This is not a fund that should go to the office of MCAs,” stated Adika.

He added that MCAs should do oversight work as part of the separation of power between the executive and assembly. Already, the Civil Society has dispatched letters to the Governor and County Assembly Speaker.

“We want to call upon MCAs not to be dragged in a process that will deem their purpose of oversight,” Adika urged MCAs.

The involvement of MCAs in the issuance of bursaries they said will not be fair as they will favour their supporters to the chagrin of other deserving people.

The civil societies are urging fund administrators to submit reports to the Office of Auditor General, and MCAs to follow up as it is their role. They also want County Governments to recruit professionals to administer the Elimu Funds.

“If you are choosing people to execute duties for instance those serving under the fund their role is purely professional, they don’t have a political leaning and therefore it is important for MCAs to retain their oversight roles,” said Adika.

He divulged that they are following up on a case in Changamwe Constituency where they were in chaos during the issuance of bursaries forms by MCA last year.

Adika noted that if the issuance of bursaries was done by the County Government it would be uniform and there would be no cases of favoritism.

“We want to insist on a process that is professional, that respects the place of education in the lives of our children and that which respects the process of growth of a County Government,” he said.

Haniel Mengistu
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