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Monday, 19 March 2012

Missing Millions Feb-March 2012

Tale of missing ESP
millions in school

By Jonathan Mutiso

An incomplete Library in Mwala's Model School. Millions are unaccounted for
Furious parents and other education stakeholders from Mwala district have raised red flag against embattled Mbaikini Boys High school principlal Jonathan Mua over mismanagement of funds allocated for the Economic Stimulus Programe (ESP)last year The Sh.21m for Economic Stimulus Programme(ESP) is over but none of the projects initiated has been completed. The school needs approximately Sh 12m to finish the work. The school is indebted to the tune of over Sh 7,000.000.00 An extension land which was to be acquired in 2010 for Sh 400,000.00 has not been paid for.

Following allegations of funds mismanagement at the school, the B.O.G met on December10 2011 to deliberate on the way forward concerning the principal.
 Embattled  Mua was seeking for transfer but according to the BOG and the Mbaikini community, Mua should not  go without proper accounting since it is  an act of encouraging impunity.
During Mr. Mua’s tenure the school attained the issues below:- According to Min1/12/2011, It was noted that the principal deliberately cheated and misled the BOG as per Min 6 /23/09/2011 of an earlier BOG meeting when he gave the total projected expenditure for Term 3, 2011 as Sh. 2,434,966.00 against income of Sh.1,494,148.00, with a deficit of Sh. 940,181.00. He subsequently requested for disbursement of funds from the PTA account to supplement the deficit which was approved by the BOG.
However upon thorough scrutiny of the bank statements of all the school accounts viz PTA account, Tuition account, Operations account and Boarding account   it transpired that all had a total overall position of less than Kshs.100,000.00 as at the date of the approval of wirement. As per Min 2/12/2011,BOG recommendation, Principal’s transfer should be suspended and or withheld until urgent and detailed investigations are done.
 The principal should  give inventory of all school account books and deposit them in the custody of the BOG Chairman.According to irate teachers who sought anonymity, students have resulted in siting on jerry cans as there are no enough seats and others take their lessons under trees for lack of rooms.
 Water supply to the school has been disconnected because of unpaid debts while the school bus is in a bad state because it has not received any major service for a long time.
According to details availed by close accomplices, no PTA project has been carried out since 2009 in face of the parents raising KES 2,560,000.00 (the standby generator had been earmarked to be secured in 2010).
The school is direly understaffed as it had been upgraded to 3 streams from the usual 2 streams. The principal has refused to hire more BOG teachers to cushion the shortage. This has led to deterioration of academic performance as the student:teacher ratio is unmanageable.
The students discipline has deteriorated hence culminating to riot in October 2011. Disciplined students should have found a better way to air their grievances other than destroying property.
The teachers and non-teaching staff have no confidence in him as he continuously tells lies and results to threats if he can’t cheat his way out.The teachers employed by BOG and the non-teaching staff have not been paid their November and December salaries.
This has happened when the school bus has been constantly hired out each weekend and it is estimated it has raised enough money to pay them. I.e. not less than KES 150,000.00.
Surprisingly, Mua sought a suitable replacement (Mr. Benjamin Ngatho) to come to the school and he be deployed elsewhere without these issues having being addressed.
The principal on several occasions he has misled the BOG/PTA by giving them false documents, thus effectively keeping the BOG and PTA unaware of the real situation.
To try and cover up issues in June Mua led the BOG to believe that the then school bursar had mismanaged school funds resulting to a suspension and had him sacked in September. In this period the principal hired services of unsanctioned accountant to help keep the books.
 Total cash embezelled is up to or more than Sh 5 Million. He has again engaged this  accountant (as at 22/12/2011) other than the BOG employed accountant (accounts clerk not the sacked bursar).
To the relief of the school and the community Mr Nua was transferred to Katoloni secondary school and demoted to a normal teacher but yet the Mbaikini community need the Criminal Investigation Department to launch investigations on the demoted teacher and his accounts audited to ensure that he doesn’t benefit from the schools funds.
Mismanagement of school funds has been witnessed in Machakos with abandon and the thieves are merely demoted or transferred, which in itself is not a solution. This is what has launched and nurtured impunity in the management of secondary education where Principals plunder schools and shackle responsibility to enjoy ill gotten wealth as they take advantage of a policy framework that support theft from public coffers.
Investigations reveal this is as a result of connivance between District Education Officers and the school heads.

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