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Ol Kalou residents demand answers from MP on school desks

Saturday August 17 2019

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Mr David Kiaraho addresses political aspirants in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua County, on November 22, 2016. He was elected Ol Kalou MP in August 2017. PHOTO | JOHN GITHINJI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOHN GITHINJI
By JOHN GITHINJI
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Residents of Ol Kalou Constituency in Nyandarua County have protested delay in delivery of desks to schools almost a year after a fundraiser was held in support of the project.

During a harambee led by Deputy President William Ruto on November 26, 2018, parents of pupils in schools in the constituency raised a total of about Sh1 million.

The DP donated Sh1 million, while area MP David Kiaraho gave another million with a pledge that Sh10 million from Constituency Development Fund (CDF) would be set aside for the project.

But nearly a year later, no desk has been delivered and the parents are now accusing Mr Kiaraho of misappropriating the money raised.

 “We had been promised that schools will get the desks on a pro-rata formula, meaning the number of desks each school was to get would be determined by the amount it contributed,” said a head teacher who requested anonymity.

The head teacher said the information going round is that less than Sh2 million raised in the harambee remains in the account because some of the money was spent to settle bills incurred during the fundraiser.

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 Another head teacher said parents were breathing fire on schools boards of management, demanding to know what happened to the money the school managers collected from them.

In turn, the board members are pressuring the head teachers to explain why they had not demanded for the desks from the MP.

 When the Nation contacted Mr Kiaraho, he accused the parents and the teachers of trying to politicise the project.

He declared the desks project was still on course, saying it had been delayed because the CDF national office was yet to sign a code list to allow his office to spend the money earmarked for the desks.

The MP said once this is done  he plans to call a meeting of all head teachers in  Nyandarua Central and Mirangine sub-counties to agree on the design and cost of each desk.

 “Each school was allocated the number of desks to get and it is during the meeting of head teachers that each school will be given a cheque to buy the desks provided it sticks to the sample and cost,” he said.

He said the money raised was intact but some pledges were yet to be fulfilled.

Mr Kiaraho also claimed the head teachers only raised Sh400,000.

Ol Kalou CDF Chairman Simon Nduati said  they could not buy the desks until they get AIE (authority to incur expenditure).

He said anybody can verify the money raised during the harambee is still intact. He said some of the head teachers were signatories to the account holding the money.

Parents, however, claim Mr Nduati has been taking them in circles when asked about the availability of funds.

The parents now say they will organise demonstrations when schools re-open to demand the MP reveal where the funds are.