Siaya: Governor sacks top county education official

Siaya: Governor sacks top county education official

Governor Cornel Rasanga Amoth has sacked Ms Mary Olute, his county executive committee (CEC) member for Education.

According to Daily Nation she was notified of the action on Tuesday night.

She was sacked hours before she was to appear before the County Assembly’s general oversight committee to shed light on preparations that the devolved unit has in place with regard to disbursement of bursaries should schools re-open.

According to a source at the committee who spoke on condition of anonymity, the CEC had confirmed that she would appear before the team on Wednesday morning.

On her part, Ms Olute confirmed that she had been sacked but didn’t offer reasons for the governor’s move.

“It is true I have been given the letter which I received yesterday relieving me of my duties. This is a political appointment and if the governor feels I can no longer work with him then it is okay,” she said.

Neither the Mr Rasanga nor county secretary Joseph Ogutu were available for comment on the matter.

Ms Olute was in the news last month after testing positive for Covid-19.

She was then flown to Nairobi from an isolation ward in Bondo Sub-county hospital for treatment at a private hospital.

The governor later issued a memo to members of his cabinet barring them from having any physical interactions with him.

Her department was also on the spot when she was summoned to appear before the Public Accounts and Investment committee to explain how Sh38 million bursary funds for the financial year 2017/18 were utilised. This followed audit queries raised by the Auditor-General that revealed that 49 non-existent students had allegedly been awarded bursaries.

The CEC swapped her position with Ms Dorothy Owino who was moved to the Health docket in a reshuffle carried out by the governor in 2018.

She was appointed as the Education executive during Mr Rasanga’s second term.

Ms Olute, who hails from West Ugenya Ward, Ugenya Sub-county, has extensive experience as an educationist and was expected to revitalise the department.

She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership and Policy Education from Moi University, another Masters in Sociology from the University of Nairobi, a Bachelor of Education Arts (Honours) and a Diploma in Counselling Skills from Amani Counselling Centre.

She previously served as the Secretary-General of the Kenya National Commission for United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Kenya Office.

Her task in the office, according to a dispatch from the governor’s communications office at the time of her appointment, was to sort out the Sh75 million bursary stalemate that had been pending to ensure hundreds of beneficiaries in high schools and universities get sustained funding.

Some Sh37.5 million of total pending bursary funding was released mid-August 2018.

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