Parents and students from Uasin Gishu County have petitioned the senate to probe the scandalous Finland-Canada overseas study program.
The overseas study programme was launched by the county by the former governor, who is now the current senator Jackson Mandago.
According to the parents, the county had promised to facilitate studies for their children abroad and asked them to pay at sh. 1.2 million for the program.
Two years later, most of the students ate still at home, and some universities in Finland distanced themselves from the program.
“I sold my property including land and took loans from commercial banks to pay sh 1.2 million for my daughter to join a university in Finland and this is after it discontinued her from her studies at Moi University School of Law,” said Kiptek one of the parents.
Shadrach Juma, a parent to one of the students, also paid a similar amount for his daughter who is a student at Egerton University but she is yet to travel to Finland two years after the payment was made.
“As a parent, I am really pained to see my daughter around every day looking depressed. I am no longer interested in the county overseas program anymore. Let them just refund us our money so that we can take our children to Kenyan universities,” remarked Juma.
Eunice Chelagat blames her woes on former governor Mandago, who spearheaded the program and convinced them that taking their children to Finland was a good investment.
“We want the former governor who is nor did our senator to tell us what happen. Our children are languishing in our villages, and some have turned to alcoholism. We want Mandago to return our money and nothing less,” said Chelagat.
For Benjamin Kimurgor who was a fourth-year student at the Presbyterian University, his parents spent at least sh 1.7million after selling a piece of land and farm machines to raise the funds in a period of two weeks.
“I am really depressed as well as my parents. We trusted our leaders when they told us Finland would make our lives better and gave them our money. What am I supposed to do after discontinuing my studies? ” Kimurgor asked.
According to Kimutai Kirui, a human rights activist based in Uasin Gishu, fraudsters have been operating and swindling money from residents, forcing them to seek help from the Senate besides appealing to President William Ruto to intervene.
“If you want to steal from people, Uasin Gishu County is the place to do that. They made parents sell their assets, some left jobs, and school, but the authorities are doing nothing to help,” said Kirui.
The report will be submitted before the senate with a proposal of launching an official investigation into the study program that had turned controversial.