Written By:Metabel Mainya , Posted: Wed, Jun 22, 2011
Police have arrested 15 activists who had locked the office of Education Minister Sam Ongeri and camped there demanding that he quits office over the loss of 4.2 billion shillings meant to fund learning in the country.
Led by Okoiti Omtatah, the activists had evaded the scrutiny of security officers at Jogoo House on Tuesday evening as they walked in one by one to the Minister’s office.
They then converged at the minister’s second floor office locked it and pitched camp there overnight.
The angry demonstrators shouted slogans and vowed to continue with the protests until the culprits are prosecuted and the money recovered.
They said that the minister and his PS should not politicize the matter, but allow the investigations to be done without interference.
Speaking during the demonstration, Executive Director of Community Facilitation Empowerment Development Initiative (COFEDI) Samuel Wambugu said that the education money should not be wasted and those involved in the scandal should be arrested.
“We dont want the idea of people squandering the education money and therefore responsibility should be taken.” he said.
He added that investigations should be carried out and those found guilty should be forced to return the money.
A representative from Kenya Foundation for Youth and Women Program, Nicholas Ngetich, said that if the government does not take action they will mobilize all learning institutions to demand for the stolen money.
“If need be we will paralyze all learning institutions until the issue of misusing the education funds has been dealt with, he said.
The demonstration was carried out by members from 35 civil society and NGOs from different parts of the country.
The minister is currently in Mombasa for a head teachers’ conference and it was unclear if he had returned to Nairobi.
Prof Ongeri has rejected calls to quit as pressure mounts for him to take responsibility for the loss of the funds arguing that the money was misappropriated between 2005 and 2009, way before he was appointed to the ministry.
The activists are currently at Central Police Station.