Omulele's Luanda market expansion bid halted

Education ministry says lawmaker's plan to relocate a secondary school has not been approved

In Summary

• Plans to expand Luanda market have hit a snag after the ministry of education halted the programme.

• The market, situated along the Kisumu-Busia highway is the largest open air market in Western region.

Luanda Market in Vihiga county
CROWDED: Luanda Market in Vihiga county
Image: FILE


Luanda MP Chris Omulele's plans to relocate a secondary school for the expansion of Luanda market has been halted by the Ministry of Education, citing irregularities.

The market, situated along the Kisumu-Busia highway is the largest open air market in Western region.

Omulele wants Mumboha Secondary School sliced so it shares a compound with the adjacent Mumboha Primary School for its seven-acres to be used in expanding the market.

Three years ago, the MP curved out more than four acres of the school land and constructed a public stadium on it.

Last year, Omulele, through the National Government Constituency Development Fund, issued a tender bid for construction of 16 classrooms, a laboratory, library and administration block.

The lawmaker unveiled the project at Mumboha Primary School early this month in the company of the CDF committee. The launch raised eyebrows by education officials in Vihiga county.

Now, the County Education Board has asked the MP to stop the plan, saying he did not follow the procedure.

Board secretary Helen Nyang’au said the project was illegal.

“Only the Education Cabinet Secretary has the power to relocate a school from one title to another and that is a climax of an elaborate process that begins at the school level to the board,” Nyang'au said on Friday.

She said that there was no minute on record requesting for such a plan by the MP or CDF apart from the lawmaker's letter received on February 22.

 “The board will have meet before end of this month since it has just been inaugurated and this issue of relocation of the school will definitely be on the agenda,” she said.

She said the MP must provide justifiable reasons and outline the plans including proving that he has an equivalent land size and infrastructures to be able to convince the board to approve the project.

She said that the CEB will discuss the MP’s intention and advise him appropriately.

“He must start with public participation involving all key players at school level, the national land commission (NLC), the community around the school before reaching to us for approval.”

Omulele's meeting to unveil the project at Mumboha Secondary School was snubbed by the school Board of Management and the education office.

BOM chairman Joel Enane later said that the committee wasn’t aware of the relocation.

Omulele could not be reached for comment as he neither answered calls nor replied to text messages. His handlers said he was out of the country.

His constituency manager Sylvia Atsango said the relocation plan would go ahead at the primary section despite the resistance.

Atsango said that the school’s current location, next to Luanda market had compromised discipline and learning hence the intervention to have it moved.

“CDF will fund the establishment of a county polytechnic on part of the seven-acre land and the rest will be used for expansion of Luanda market,” Atsango said.