Scholarships are an integral part in promoting education of our children. Access to education is something that should never be compromised in any society determined to end poverty and ignorance. Moreover, access to education should be free and fair because it is through this channel that society perpetuates itself to higher levels of development.
Scholarships in Bungoma county have turned out to be a farcical charade. The Governor, Bungoma county, Wycliffe Wangamati has meddled in the scholarship programme, thus violating the scholarship guidelines by having partisan members of his team to vet the scholarship applicants.
These notable characters who are termed as Governor’s advisors, some are former politicians like Job Chelongo, Nancy Kibaba and Bifwoli Wakoli. Job Chelongo for example, lost the parliamentary seat in 2017. Him in collaboration with the ward administrator are currently tasked to vet pupils who will benefit from the highly publicized Governor’s scholarships in Ndivisi Ward to award unfairly.
Because of political interests, Mr. Chelongo us not trustedat all to oversee the whole process I webuye east. The Governor got it completely wrong to entrust politicians to vet pupils in their backyard.
Gubernatorial appointees like Caroline Buyela who were initially non-politicians are currently doing politics on daily basis within the county and arm-twisting ward administrators into doing things in their favor.
Governor Wangamati has completely turned a blind on this matter and yet the electorate is wondering whether these appointees were to serve the common man or do politicking.
In Mihuu Ward for example, Caroline Buyela is working in cahoots with Phoebe Buchunju have been given mandate to do vetting exercise in mihuu ward. Applicants believed to come from their polical nemesis are worried of their chances to secure the scholarships.
The scholars fear is the needy students, who may have qualified for the scholarships may get locked out because of the partisan interests manifested by these marauding county employees who have been tasked by Governor Wangamati to vet scholarship applications. Our clarion call is to let the vetting of the scholarship applications be strictly based on the scholarship guidelines and merit.