- Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has ordered a thorough investigation into allegations of mismanagement and massive fraud of Free Primary Education (FPE) funds at the Ministry of Education.
Up to Sh100 million (US$1.3 million) meant for the FPE programme is believed to have been stolen or diverted to other use by senior ministry officials, according to local reports.
In a statement issued by the Presidency, President Kibaki said all other relevant authorities including the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) should take up the matter and ensure those alleged to have stolen funds are prosecuted and the money is recovered.
The President has also assured Kenyans, especially parents and pupils currently enjoying the FPE, that the government will ensure that the FPE programme continues uninterrupted.
Last Friday, the British government issued a travel ban to more than 20 Kenyan citizens accused of corruption, and frozen funding for the ministry of education over the disappearance of US$1.3 million.
Education Minister Professor Sam Ongeri said he had instituted a thorough audit of the funds which has so far shown that the figure of the misappropriated funds is less than Sh100 million.
The Minister said some 34 officials in his ministry had been suspended to pave way for the investigations.
He said he would not resign his position over the massive fraud but vowed to take stern action against officials found to have colluded to defraud the money that was funded by the UK’s Department of International Development (DfID).
DfID has announced it will continue withholding funding to the FPE programme, citing massive fraud in managing and disbursing the funds by the ministry officials.
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