Uasin Gishu County Senator Jackson Mandago has come out to defend himself against accusations that he is responsible for the now controversial overseas study program where parents paid millions of shillings.
In a rejoinder that followed Uasin Gishu governor Jonathan Bii’s press statement that demanded Mandago to come clean on the program, the senator insisted that he left the Finland –Canada study program in good shape.
“When I handed over the office last year in August, the Program had at least sh 104m on its trust fund account, and accusations that there was only one million are untrue, and those saying that should tell us where the rest of the money went,” said Mandago.
Governor Bii had stated earlier in a press conference that his administration had found barely sh 1.8m in the Trust Fund account that was opened for the overseas study program as he absolved himself of blame amid calls from parents to have their money refunded by the county.
“Everyone knows this was not my program and I inherited it from our senator who was then our governor. Why are parents coming after me? Mandago should come out and carry his own cross and leave me alone,” lamented Bii.
In his response, Mandago says, certain county officials had procured a fake bank statement that was being circulated online through the help of a Kenya commercial bank employee at Moi’s bridge branch.
According to the senator, he raised the alarm with the bank’s management but senior county officials in Bii’s administration prevailed upon the bank not to fire the employee.
“The county administration should tell us why people who were not signatories to the Trust Fund account were able to get a fake bank statement that was meant to mislead the public. They should tell us what interest they had in that account,” he added.
Parents whose children failed to travel for overseas studies stormed a meeting on 11th July 2023 that was being attended by the Governor and his Deputy John Barorot as they chanted for a refund of their money. The two leaders had to secretly leave the venue to escape the wrath of their parents.
“I don’t expect a governor who should be in charge and provide leadership to sneak through the fence instead of facing parents for a solution. Now that the governor has invited me through the media instead of reaching out to me for a meeting to discuss solutions, I have decided to answer him in kind,” said Mandago.
Mandago has said he is ready to face investigative agencies including the EACC and the DCI to offer information as parents threaten to disrupt the devolution conference next month if the monies will not be refunded by then.