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Kenya Kisumu: MCA accuses the Principal of Ahero girls of graft

Posted by African Press International on March 7, 2016

By our investigative Reporter.

Matters are not very rosy at the Catholic sponsored school, Ahero girls in Nyanza. Although the school posted impressive KSCE results, the principal Sister Sarah Adipo is fighting off a number of accusations leveled against her , allegations that border on graft .

The principal who was posted to the school in June 2014 moved to court and obtained orders restraining her employer, the TSC from transferring her to Asumbi girls in Homabay county on demotion. The matter is pending before a Kisumu court where the orders were obtained.

Sister Adipo says she’s being fought by her detractors, pointing a finger at the area MCA Mr Onyango Aloo as the person behind her woes.
She told reporters who visited the school on a fact finding mission that the MCA wants to remove her so that a person he’s fronting replaces her as the new principal.

But the MCA has vehemently denied the allegations by the principal.
During an interview in his office on Thursday last week, the MCA vowed to ensure what he described as mismanagement at the institution is rooted out.

He alleged that the principal has been flouting procurement rules whenever the school is in need of supplies.

The MCA claimed that a supplier who is currently supplying cereals and other items like sugar to the school was being awarded the contracts through single sourcing. He alleged that the same supplier is paid even before he delivers the goods to the school.

When she was sought to clarify, the principal dismissed the allegations as unfounded. She defended the supplier stating that the school had minutes confirming that the tendering process was adhered to before any item was delivered.

She stated that the school had no cash to pay for the supplies and she was forced to ask the same supplier , whom she’s accused of favoring, to supply the cereals and sugar on credit.

We established that at one point the said supplier on own admission of the principal, brought sugar to the school , plus other items worth over 2million shillings on credit. This, according to the principal was because ,the school lacked cash in its account.

However, its such steps that the MCA has faulted , accusing the principal of not doing due diligence before committing the school into spending money.

While the principal insisted that the board approved of her actions, the MCA claims no such thing happened because by virtue of his position, he’s a member of the board of management but he’s never received any letter inviting him for such meetings.

Citizen Weekly also established that the term of the board expired in June last but the process of installing a new one stalled after one of those whose names was proposed was allegedly rejected by a section of the education stakeholders from the area.

The issue of the board of management at Ahero girls too is a court matter which is yet to be heard and determined
As it is , there is no board at the school and the other activities that the school would want to undertake like award of construction tenders have stalled because what now exists is the executive committee which is not allowed by the ministry guidelines to award such work.

Also at the center of the controversy is the KSH.16.5 million loan that the school allegedly borrowed last year to construct a dormitory for the girls. Temporary structure, made of iron sheets was put up and about eighty students are using the structure as a dormitory, according to the principal.

According to the MCA the decision was a wrong one since parents are already repaying the loan while the money was lying idle in the school account. The principal confirmed that the money was intact in the account.

” The money is lying in the school account, attracting interest because it has to be repaid but the project for which it was borrowed is even yet to be tendered for.” said the. MCA.

Following the happenings at the institution, there was a commotion in the school early last week. A man was arrested and later taken to court in Ahero after the incident.

The principal told reporters that some people were in the school to forcefully eject her.
She claimed that a man who was in the group found his way into the school compound and in her on testimony , was allegedly beaten by people she claimed at the press briefing, were teachers and staff at her institution.

Sister Sarah also defended herself against accusations that she allegedly hired the son of the chairman of the board whose term expired as the new school Bursar clarifying that the guy was actually on job attachment.

She also denied ever pocketing proceeds from the school bakery as alleged adding that the bakery was not a viable venture .

Amongst other accusations, the principal was accused of allegedly pocketing cash paid by parents for school uniform without issuing receipt but money from the school account was being used to pay the uniform supplier.

She however denied ever receiving any money and instead blamed the now suspended school Bursar of failing to pay creditors even after she approved the payments.

The MCA had accused the principal for allegedly hiring people from other areas while denying the locals the job opportunities in the school, including (MCA himself), being locked out of business opportunities such as supply contracts.

“. I have nothing personal against the principal. I have no intentions of fighting this school or any of our learning institutions but all I am asking the ministry and other stakeholders to do, is to help us protect them” he said.

End.

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