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MCAs question use of funds in Sakaja's school lunch plan

Nairobi Governor Sakaja Johnson. [David Gichuru, Standard]

A school feeding programme in Nairobi County has come under scrutiny barely one year after its launch.

A Nairobi County Assembly committee has raised concerns over Governor Johnson Sakaja’s programme dubbed ‘Dishi na County’.

The programme, which is one of Sakaja’s pet projects, is being overseen by the County’s Health docket.

On Tuesday, County Executive Member for Health Susan Silantoi appeared before the Health Committee to shed light on how the programme is run.

Silantoi told the Committee, which is chaired by Maurice Ochieng, that the County is yet to put in place regulations for the Dishi na County funds.

At the same time, she said there has not been any direct exchange of funds between the county and the donor.

“We submitted regulations of the fund to the Assembly in December but were told they have to go to the delegated committee first, so up to now they have not been approved,” she said.

The donor funds were paid to a non-profit organisation which is the implementing partner in charge of the Dishi na County programme.

Silantoi revealed that the county has so far used approximately Sh600 million on the feeding programme.

The County allocated Sh1.2 billion to the programme in its budget.

Under the Programme, the County contributes Sh25 for every child while parents pay Sh5. Another Sh15 is contributed by the fund’s partners and well-wishers.

CEO Food for Education Wawira Nyambura told the committee that about Sh140 million was received as donation to support 25,000 children who are unable to pay the Sh5.

Ochieng, who is the Mountain View MCA, said the Assembly Health Committee is seeking to establish how the funds have been spent.

“The Health CEC told us that they have never received any money from the donors but we can remember very well the governor met a French envoy last year who offered support of about Sh140 million,” Ochieng said.

“They (The executive) are unable to account for the money and there is no account for the money but we engaged the chief executive of the Schools for Education Programme who said that they get money from donors,” he added.

Ochieng said what was emerging from the probe is that some funds received from donors cannot be accounted for.

“When we were appropriating the funds for the year 2023/24, we budgeted for 250,000 pupils but we were surprised to be told that they only serve 189,000 pupils,” said the committee chair.

The committee members insisted that the county must produce details of all donor funds and other well-wisher’s contributions to the programme.

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