Six senior Education officials sent on compulsory leave over Sh1.7 billion books scam

KICD acting Chief Executive Joel Mabonga/ COURTESY

Six senior Education ministry officials have been sent on a seven-month compulsory leave over a Sh1.7 billion books scandal at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

The six officials are Secondary Education Deputy Director Ruth Mugambi, Director of Primary Education Olive Mbuthia, Finance Deputy Director Solomon Kathuo, Deputy Director Human Resources Emmanuel Mulwa, Deputy Director Resource Centre Emily Sila and John Kimotho, Senior Director Media.

KICD acting Chief Executive Joel Mabonga is reported to have effected the move.

However, a human rights organisation has written to Education CS George Magoha and the anti-graft agency to investigate Mabonga for alleged graft and violation of human rights over the decision.

“This is a clear abuse of office. The future of schools’ curriculum in Kenya is threatened because top experts were sent on forced leave,” Human Rights Focus said in the letter.

All the officials are all said to be crucial to the school reopening process.

Mabonga who took over in an acting capacity in 2018 refuted the reports and distanced himself from the scandal.

“I cannot comment on the content of the letter since I have no knowledge of it. The letter is addressed to the investigators and not me, let them do their work,” the acting CEO stated in an interview with People Daily.

Mabonga is also not sitting pretty as he stands to lose his position as KICD has announced an opening for the CEO post on its website.

Human Rights Focus also accused Mabonga of exploiting the tendering process of the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) Grade 5 textbooks.

Textbook suppliers in the Sh1.7 billion tender were awarded contracts on July 6, three days after submitting their quotations.

The period of time in between raised questions over the vetting process by the state agency.

“Dr Mabonga personally attended the book evaluation exercise where he negotiated with publishers and changed some awards to suit his preferred companies,” letter signed by Pauline Mumbua, the Complaints Officer, and also copied to the DCI, the DPP and Magoha, notes.

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