County Government of Embu may have lost millions of shillings through fraudulent double allocation of bursaries to needy students, a County Assembly report has revealed.
The scandal that involves double and triple allocation of bursaries to one students after interchanging the order of names but maintaining the admission number was unearthed by the County Assembly Committee on Education, Science and Technology in a after an incisive probe of the award of bursaries in the 2014/2015 Financial Year.
The inquest exposed a conspicuous trend of the financial impropriety at Gitare Vocational Training Centre whereby even after benefitting from the numerous allocation of bursaries, the beneficiary students later dropped out, leaving the polytechnic with only three students.
Education committee chairperson Nominated MCA Winrose Ngithi, while tabling the report, stated that the committee established that the then Chief Officer in the education docket was responsible for the double allocation, whereby the extra monies were later withdrawn by certain individuals.
Ngithi urged Governor Martin Wambora to hold the Chief Officer who has since been moved to the Investment and Industrialisation docket personally responsible for the cases of financial impropriety that could have led to the loss of tens of millions of taxpayers’ funds.
Runyenjes Central MCA Steve Simba who blew the whistle on the scam said though bursaries were meant to help the needy, even the wealthy wanted to benefit from the kitty, while unscrupulous county officials worked tirelessly to device means of siphoning the funds from the county treasury.
Nginda MCA Anthony Mugera sensationally alleged that there was a list circulating in public indicating that even the bursaries that were issued in March 2017 were also dogged by the same style of graft, this time involving similar names and admission numbers in different institutions across the county.
The MCAs unanimously agreed that there was need to address the pilfering of taxpayers’ funds through the financial improprieties in the bursary kitty and punitive disciplinary action meted upon those who would be found culpable.