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MP comes under fire over his opposition to school renovation

Manyatta MP Gitonga Mukunji.

Manyatta MP Gitonga Mukunji has come under fire from leaders and the community in Njukiri Village, Embu, over his alleged opposition to renovation of dilapidated DEB Njukiri Primary School by a local entrepreneur.

Ken Java Mwaniki through his construction firm, Eagle 1 Concrete and Machineries Ltd, had volunteered to give the public primary school a facelift with state-of-art facilities and turn it into a model school as part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

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The school has over the years seen enrollment drop from over 400 pupils two decades ago to current 47 pupils attributable to poor state of infrastructure and poor performance forcing parents to transfer children to other schools.

Renovation works were set to commence last month, but ran into headwinds after the area MP allegedly blocked the initiative by ensuring the facilitator did not get clearance and go ahead from relevant authorities.

The development sparked uproar from the community and other stakeholders who accused the MP of being anti-development.

In a display of solidarity, the community led by the philanthropist held a public participation forum on Wednesday where they unanimously ratified the initiative.

The alumni of the school led by the entrepreneur also agreed to draft a petition that will be signed by residents and presented to the MP to compel him to allow the proposed project to proceed.

“Power belongs to the people and we vehemently oppose any bid to block the renovation of our school by the MP,” said area leader Roy Mutembei.

Educationist Selasius Njoka said it was a big shame for any leader to stand in the way of such an initiative that is meant to shape the lives of many children.

“Leadership is about mentoring other people, if you cannot come here and encourage well-wishers to build a school which will grow future leaders, and then you are acting like a mafia,” said educationist Selasius Njoka.

He continued, “What we have witnessed here in terms of corporate social responsibility is what we want to see happen across Embu County and the country at large.”

Another local leader, Wambugu Gakinya called on others to heed to the President’s call for corporates to assist develop the areas they operate in while laying a foundation stone for renovation of his former Kamagut Primary School by M-pesa Foundation.

A parent at the school, Faith Gakii said anyone opposed to the initiative was the enemy of the people because leadership is about transforming lives, adding that it was their desire to see the former glory of the school restored.

The residents also vowed to push through with the initiative forcefully in the event that the MP disregards their petition.

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