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The National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) Bursaries are disbursed to NG-CDF committees at sub-county and Constituency levels to enable earmarked needy children to continue to pursue their education.

Although the area Member of Parliament sits in the bursary committee as a patron and should (by law) not interfere with or influence the disbursement of the bursaries, NG-CDF managers are appointed by the MPs and work directly under their office. [In Siaya the NG-CDF office, for purposes of appearances is located away from the office of the MP].

According to a report in the Nation on Monday some 131,854 students are languishing at home for lack of money to join Secondary Schools.

This is after MPs throughout Kenya posed for the media with “needy” children receiving part of the millions allocated for education.

Last year Alego-Usonga Constituency received an allocation of KES 100,000,000.00 paid out in three tranches. Some of the dates of the allocation do not coincide with the opening of schools and therefore escape media coverage

Date Amount (KSH) Financial Year

Aug 4, 2023, 63,960,174.00 2022/2023

Jun 21, 2023 15,000,000.00 2022/2023

Jun 15, 2023, 16,000,000.00 2022/2023

Jun 4, 2023, 12,000,000.00 2022/2023

The Nation report indicates in Siaya over 2000 pupils are yet to report to school because of lack of funding. The disbursement of bursaries has received a lot of media coverage with the six MPs outdoing each other to give the impression of adeptly managing the bursary element of the fund.

The truth is that the education kitty is a cash cow for politicians who not only directly influence beneficiaries but also divert the funds to “other development projects”. You could see how the Azimio and Kenya Kwanza MPs bunched together against the state when President Ruto threatened to withdraw allocation to NG-CDF.

In Rarieda Constituency 6 beneficiaries of the bursary were exposed as well-off associates of the MP, including a son to the County Executive Committee Member for Education. In Alego-Usonga political allegiance to the sitting MP has always been a yardstick to measure one’s qualification for the Bursary. The story goes on and on.

Frustrated with their thieving leaders this year round pupils in Siaya carried placards and posted their needs on social media. Politicians quickly assembled photographers as they responded to the dire situation.

Such hiccup responses are hypocritical. What Siaya needs is a well-structured disbursement protocol that is run independently of the office of the MP.

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