Two CS’s send warning to teachers who engage in politics

Two CS's send warning to teachers who engage in politics

Two top Cabinet Secretaries (CS’s) issued a warning to teachers who take part in active politics.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his Education counterpart George Magoha yesterday June 24 warned teachers and police against engaging in partisan politics.

They said police and teachers are civil servants and should not be seen to involve in petty politics aimed at causing disharmony.

The two spoke in Kisii County, where they laid a foundation stone for Nyaura Primary School, which is to be rebuilt at a cost of Sh50 million.

Outgoing Dagoretti North MP and Kisii governorship candidate Simba Arati, Senate candidate and outgoing Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka, and Nyaribari Chache MP Richard Tong’i attended the function.

The warning to teachers is similar to the one issued by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) through a circular.

In Circular number 14/2020 dated 1/12/2020 the Commission prohibits teachers against taking part in any active political engagements while still in service of the Commission; and further requiring them to refrain from:

(1) holding office in a political party;

(2) engaging in a political activity that may compromise or be  seen to compromise the political neutrality of the office they hold;

(3) publicly indicating support for or opposition to any political party or candidate in an election; and

(4) engaging in activities of any political party or candidate, or act as an agent of a political  party or candidate in  an election.

At the same time, Prof Magoha dismissed an Auditor General report that said millions of money meant for buying desks and lockers could not be accounted for.

Dr Matiang’i and Prof Magoha later proceeded to Nyansiongo Boys in Nyamira County where they led a fundraiser for a dormitory project.

The Interior CS warned police against providing security for criminals disguised as politicians, noting that he will do anything in his power to protect the dignity of the National Police Service.

He spoke after Mr Arati claimed that some politicians were planning to cause chaos in Kisii County and blame it on their competitors to paint them in a bad light as violent people.

Mr Arati also claimed that police were used on Friday last week to protect a “private meeting” of some county assembly members and county government officials during which a nominee for County Public Service Board chairman was illegally and unprocedurally approved even after the county assembly was adjourned indefinitely.

“I want the Kisii county commissioner and his security committee to investigate the claims that police guarded an illegal meeting aimed at committing irregularities and stealing public funds,” said Dr Matiang’i.

He said police are supposed to maintain law and order and not protect rogue people whose agenda is to steal funds meant for the public. “We do not want police to involve themselves in partisan politics. This must end.”

Prof Magoha, for his part, said as long as he is heading the Ministry of Education, staff and teachers will not engage in “partisan politics” on his watch. On the audit report, he said the ministry delivered all the desks and asked the auditor to visit schools and see the “good job” done.

“When the auditor says there was no value for money and that Sh10 million was used in uncountable circumstances, did they want me to use a bicycle, or my officers to go and check and confirm that the desks were delivered?” he asked.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu questioned the procurement of computers and desks at Sh2 billion meant for the competency-based curriculum. In a report tabled in the National Assembly, she accused the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education of breaching the law.

Of the Sh2 billion, Sh1.9 billion was meant for the supply of 70 desks and 50 lockers to primary and secondary schools respectively in a bid to adhere to health protocols on social distancing due to Covid-19.

The move was also meant to stimulate the economy by providing jobs to local artisans, while Sh199.9 million was paid to a firm for the supply and delivery of 2,040 computers to 200 secondary schools countrywide.

With respect to desks, Ms Gathungu also faulted officials who were paid Sh10.2 million as subsistence allowance from the money.

Prof Magoha said he is glad that politicians are finally accepting that CBC is here to stay, noting that its success is a collective responsibility. “You can play with other dockets but not with children. They are alive.”

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