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Sack Ongeri, civil societies tell Kibaki

By | June 16th 2011

By Peter Atsiaya

Civil Society organizations want President Kibaki to drop Education Minister Sam Ongeri from the cabinet following the Sh4.6 billion free education funds scam.

They said Prof Ongeri was a stumbling block to efforts by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) to bring to book education officers involved in the scandal.

In a statement to the Press they said Ongeri should be removed from his ministerial position.

“Investigations into the scandal by KACC can yield fruits if Ongeri is out of office because he uses his position to frustrate detectives,“ said Centre of Human Rights and Democracy programmes officer Janet Kirui.

Education Minister Prof Sam Ongeri. Civil Society groups have asked President Kibaki to fire him over mega corruption in his ministry which has led to loss of billions of shillings. Photo: Standard

She added:” Transferring Permanent Secretaries from the ministry is not a solution. The President should take decisive action to show that he is committed to stopping corruption in the Government”.

She added that corruption in the ministry has painted the government’s name in bad  light in the eyes of donors.

The organization’s officials said it was disturbing that some government officers were embezzling funds meant for education of poor children and were let to go scot-free.

“We will mobilise parents to demonstrate to press for the removal of Ongeri if the President is not ready to drop him from the cabinet,” said Kirui.

Kacc Director PLO Lumumba called for the resignation of the minister who he said should be held responsible for the scam.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga added his voice to the issue in Parliament on Wednesday when he said Ongeri should take political responsibility for fraud in his ministry.

 “There is no need for further investigations, all we need is prosecution,” Raila told Parliament as he issued a statement on the fraud involving the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (Kessp) on Wednesday.

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