The confrontation between the County Assembly and County Executive over the Bungoma County scholarships seems far from over after the County Executive committee member for Education skipped a whole County Assembly grilling session.
The CEC Dr. Betty Mayeku instead excused herself citing a busy schedule and picked 2nd June as the new date for appearance.
County Assemblies across the country will adjourn sine die at the end of April ahead of the next general elections in line with the law.
Hon. Members hit at the County Executive led by the Governor Wycliffe Wangamati over what they termed as escaping scrutiny and accountability.
The MCAs said it was deceitful and strategic for the Executive to pick a date in June knowing very well the House will have adjourned by then.
Khalaba Ward MCA Majimbo Okumu said the whole scholarship and bursary project was crowded in mystery.
“They have the list of beneficiaries. They have written commitment letters to schools already. What is so difficult in making this information public?” he paused.
He warned against politicizing and using public funds in the name of bursaries and scholarships to gain political mileage.
“The Governor should stop playing politics with public funds. We need the information on the entire programme. The whole thing has been implemented against the law,” he said.
Other MCAs who contributed to the matter pointed out that according to the Bungoma County Education Regulations, allocations should be made in the three categories vividly.
Elimu scholarship programme advocates for needy students funds, those who not only scored 300 and above marks to benefit from the programme but also those who scored 200 marks should also benefit stating that other students come from remote areas and due to unavoidable circumstances prompted them to underperform.
Musikoma MCA George Makari pointed out that there was misleading information to the public while section 39of the county government Act presents the public with the right to information.
Other MCAs who contributed to the matter included Hon. Barasa Mukhongo, Chesikaki MCA Ben Kipkut and Luuya/ Bwake MCA Hon. Rosemary Khisa.
The CEC Education was expected to state the budgetary allocation for new and ongoing students in the current Financial year budget .She was also supposed to avail information on total number of bursary beneficiaries for FYs 2019/2020,2020/2021 and 2021/2022 per ward and a breakdown of the allocations.
The CEC Dr. Betty Mayeku in a written response to the summons stated that the department was engaged with ensuring that both new and continuing scholarship students have comfortably reported and settled in their respective schools.
She said the process entailed preparation and disbursement of cheques and due to tight schedule, the department would not be in position to prepare a comprehensive report on the issues raised by the Assembly.
She added that needy students were awarded scholarships by a number of organizations in the county as per the county education support scheme and that it would require time to distinct the different sources of funding and their beneficiary lists.