Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has defended his ministry against allegations of embezzlement of funds.
The move follows revelations by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu that Magoha and his staff paid themselves Sh10 million in allowances for the inspection of projects.Gathungu said the expenditure was incurred by paying day subsistence allowances to staff from Jogoo House.
The CS has been traversing the country inspecting delivery of desks and construction of CBC classrooms. The Auditor General said the Sh10,214,400 would not have been spent had the duties been assigned to county officials.
On Thursday, during an inspection tour of the Competency-Based Curriculum classroom project in Mombasa, Magoha said government funds cannot be stolen under his watch.
“I can say that for the period I have been in the ministry, I have done my best. If my best is not good enough for you then go and look for someone else who can do better but the facts are there and they can be mentioned,” the CS said.
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He said they have done so many positive things including negotiating for the desks and ensured they have been delivered.The CS said the ministry has value for money and that the government allocated Sh1.9 billion to purchase 500,000 desks but instead 625,000 desks were constructed.
“Any person including the one who did not go to school will know that we got value for money because we went to inspect and ensured the desks were first of all made,” he said.
“In this country if you are doing the right thing then you shall remain to be the target, but the point is, we are not afraid to be the target for our children.”
The ministry has also re-engineered the National Education Management Information System which according to the CS will be launched before he leaves office.
He said government has also put up Geographical Information System to know the exact number of teachers, children, schools and the deficit.
“What happened before I was there is non of my business and perhaps we should go to the history and find out who was there,” he said.
“As for me I sleep soundly because God is with me and I have done what is expected of me as a minister of government, do not expect me to take political sides because I serve the President and the children.”
He called upon people who are playing politics to focus on work and deliver.“You can play politics but please in the name of God let us work, we have work to do and just few weeks to go. Do not think you will scare us from working, we shall deliver what we have to deliver and we are doing it for our children,” he said.
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Magoha said he is not a politician therefore he shall continue to do what the President tells him as long as it is by law established and one of these duties is ensuring classrooms are built.
“Our target is that we shall construct classrooms as long as I am the CS and it is only a few weeks remaining so give me space to finish what I am doing.”
Magoha told people who are questioning his work in the ministry that he will continue working as a professional until the time he will leave the office.
“ I will continue to work as a professional, I would like the busy bodies to leave me alone, I was given a job to do and that job has to be done,” he said.
The CS said he left successful buildings which were constructed under his leadership in all places he worked before being appointed as a minister.
He cited examples of his work starting from when he worked as the chair of academic department of surgery, the Dean of medical school, deputy vice chair in the department of finance in the University of Nairobi and when he was the vice chancellor where he said he completed all the stalled projects.
“Whatever I did back then is precisely what I am doing now, whether anybody likes it or not, you can go and check those things that were done.
“You do not correct what works, get a life, do not tell me for any reason to stop doing things the way I have always been doing them,” he said.He said it is not a crime to work for the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, adding that he is working by choice.
Magoha spoke during an inspection of second phase of CBC classrooms construction in the Coast region.Kilifi had a target of 57 classrooms and so far construction of 55 classroom is already on-going.
Mombasa county had a target of constructing 37 classrooms, 35 had started, two started on Thursday at Changamwe and Bomu secondary schools.The ministry has a target of constructing 3,500 classrooms across the country.
“It is also not a crime to provide classrooms at a cost which is almost 50 per cent down, from 1.4 million to the current Sh788,000.”
“I have no any reason to complain, I think we are on the right track and our default date is on August 9, if we maintain the same momentum we shall have completed most of the 3,500 classrooms,” he said.
On leaving a legacy, Magoha said as Education minister, he ensured all money leaking from Jogoo House stopped, saying they sealed the gap.“You might argue that the schools are full but even this year we have achieved 100 per cent transition and the animal called CBC.The CS said it was not easy to be Education minister during Covid-19 pandemic but they collectively as a government managed the education system and ensured no time was lost.
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