alexa Divert laptop cash for teachers' perks, says Cord - Daily Nation

Divert laptop cash for teachers' perks, says Cord

Sunday June 30 2013

PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | FILE Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (right) at a past function.

PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | FILE Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (right) at a past function. NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MWAKERA MWAJEFA [email protected]

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday urged the government to divert money earmarked for purchasing laptops for class one pupils to paying allowances demanded by the striking teachers.

While addressing a meeting of Cord governors and senators in Mombasa, Mr Odinga said the public school pupils constitutional rights had been violated because of the strike.

“Why the rush to issue laptops to class one pupils when logistics are not favourable?" Mr Odinga posed. Read (Ruto invites Knut for perk talks)

Mr Odinga noted that the Cord's manifesto had an elaborate structure for introducing information communication and technology (ICT) to public schools in phases.

He said computer labs should first be introduced, then, teachers be trained as the programmed is rolled out in public schools.

“You cannot give class one pupils laptops when their security is not guaranteed," he said.

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Fulfil pledges

Mr Odinga also urged Cord governors and senators to fulfil election pledges.

“As a coalition, we want to initiate changes by the Constitution to bring the education sector under the county governments,” he said adding that the Cord senators and MPs should be ‘bi-partisan’ when dealing with national issues.

Warning that non-performing governors might be a burden to the coalition in 2017, Mr Odinga asked the county leaders to spend public monies wisely.

“When we hear a governor spending million of shillings to fight pornography or allocating huge sums of monies for entertainment, we get worried as Cord leadership. What the people want is service delivery, period!” he said.

Mr Odinga also criticised the government of trying to ‘kill’ devolution through county commissioners, district officers and chiefs who were only answerable to the national government.

“If I were the president, I will have the governors as my representatives at county levels because they have promises to fulfil compared to the commissioners whose duties is only to please their boss,” he said.

He said that the commissioners were being used as a ‘parallel system’ to check on the governors who constitutionally should have more roles in county affairs.

In a rejoinder, former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka urged the 24 Cord governors to deliver their pledges and boost the coalition's chances of ascending to power in 2017.

Noting that the Coast region was largely dominated by Cord leaders, Mr Musyoka urged them to work together to rid it of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) influence.

“MRC is a product of marginalisation but if you can guarantee them that devolved governments can resolve some of their fundamental issues, then we will form the next government,” he said.