Mandera North CDF Committee on the spot over disbursement of bursary funds
MANDERA—Committee of the Mandera North Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is on the spot yet again over reports of discrepancies and witchunt in the allocation of the kitty.
According to several people who spoke to Kulan Post, tens of university and college students from the area have not received their allocation despite the Committee Secretary declaring that the disbursement would cover their tuition fees without discrimination.
While unveiling the Sh 29 million funds in Rhamu, the Constituency headquarters early last month, the CDF Committee said the funds would cover college tuition fees.
“We have made a public announcement for interested constituents to apply for the CDF and NHIF. We did the vetting and ascertained that out of the 3,600 applicants only 1,600 of them were verified as needy and deserving,” the Secretary of the Mandera North CDF Committee Abdiwahab Issack said during the launch, flanked by the members.
However, a month later a section of tertiary students have raised concerns over the disbursement of the funds.
Abass Sheikh Abdinoor, a Third-Year student at the University of Nairobi, said he’s been applying for the funds since 2017 to no avail.
“For six years, I have been making applications seeking my rightful share of the bursary funds. I dropped the forms physically at the CDF offices in Rhamu,” Abass, a bachelor of Finance student stated.
He challenged the area MP, Bashir Abdullahi to clarify whether “their omission from the list of the beneficiaries” is a politically motivated move. Bashir was unavailable for comment by the time of publishing this story.
In response, the chairman of the area CDF Committee Hassan Hussein said the eligibility criteria “was purely based on the conditions specified on the application form.”
“Out of the 29.7M allocated for education bursaries, 5.5M was allocated for secondary school students from the constituency schooling outside Mandera County, while 24.2M was allocated for tertiary colleges, local universities and international universities,” Hussein stated in a statement to Kulan Post. Locals have lately been demanding for prove of how the CDF bursary was distributed and the beneficiaries for purposes of accountability and transparency, but the Committee remains mum over the calls.
Habashow is seeking to be furnished with a list of all the road done by Kerra between 2016-2022 in the expansive constituency as well as the firms contracted, dates of all the tenders and the evaluation reports.https://t.co/6ZxSH7FUZJ
— Kulan Post (@kulanpost) March 16, 2023
This particular concern over the disbursement of the Mandera North CDF bursary kitty comes at the backdrop of yet another ongoing saga last month when section of the constituents challenged the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra) to furnish the details of the contracts awarded between 2016-2022, citing the deplorable state of the roads in constituency.
In the letter, through the law firm of Bonbegi & Co. Advocates, Qureish Abdi Habashow sought to be furnished with a list of all the road done by Kerra between 2016-2022 in the expansive constituency as well as the firms contracted, dates of all the tenders and the evaluation reports.
“We kindly urge your good organisation to facilitate our client with the information sought. They undertake to comply with any requirements needed in ensuring the information is provided to them,” the letter reads in part. Bashir Abdullahi is the area legislator.
Mr Habashow said his home area has been marginalised for long and the roads are in terrible state. He gave Kerra 21-days to provide him with the information sought, included a list of all the roads done by Kerra between 2016-2022 in the expansive constituency as well as the firms contracted, dates of all the tenders and the evaluation reports.
“The information being sought herein above is crucial to the wellbeing of the residents living in Mandera North,” Mr Habashow says in the letter copied to the Commission on Administrative Justice, The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
Kulan Post understands that Kerra has not sufficiently responded to Mr Habashow’s concerns, but individuals privy to the matter said the issue was “resolved through other avenues” as the road infrastructure of the Constituency remains impassable during this period of heavy downpour and gushing rainwater.