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December 15, 2018

Tharaka Nithi MCAs differ over bursary committee nominees

Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki. /FILE
Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki. /FILE

A sitting of the Tharaka Nithi county assembly was briefly disrupted after a scuffle erupted over the list of nominees for ward bursary committees. The list was presented in the House on Thursday by Education committee chairperson and Mukothima MCA Mwenda Gataya.

Speaker John Mbaya adjourned the sitting for 10 minutes after MCAs became disorderly as they raised concerns that the names of the four nominees were different from the ones they had proposed to Governor Muthomi Njuki.

Deputy speaker and Marimanti MCA Susan Ngugi claimed one of the nominees from her ward was from Vihiga county and operates a chemist at Mitunguu in the neighbouring Meru county.

“The Act is very clear that nominees must be well known in the locality for fair vetting of the students to benefit from the funds. I am wondering how the lady from Vihiga will carry out the work as required,” Ngugi argued.

She claimed the nominated person living with disability from Kibung'a area was replaced with someone who is not physically challenged.

The County Bursary Act requires that the committee comprise four nominees to represent the youth, gender, clergy and people living with disability. The ward administrator and the ward office coordinator by default will also serve in the committee as chairperson and secretary. MCAs are the patrons of the committees.

One of the nominees for Mariani Ward in Chuka Igambang'ombe had no academic certificate, yet the Act states that one must have at least a Form Four certificate.

Nominated MCAs Karen Karimi and Anita Mbae also complained that the youth have been neglected. They claimed the youngest on the list was 50 years old.

Majority Leader and Karingani MCA Murithi Gaturo said older people are suitable because they can share their knowledge and help in the management of the Sh45 million set aside for bursaries.

Uponr resuming their session, the MCAs agreed to endorse the list, but with amendments to allow for the disbursement of funds in January. The House has gone on recess until February.

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