Parents of students who were set to benefit from the Uasin Gishu County Government’s Airlift Program are furious with the county leadership, including former governor Jackson Mandago and are demanding answers.
This is after they found out that the programme was nothing but a pyramid scheme that a few individuals hatched to con unsuspecting and desperate Kenyans.
Angry parents caught in the fraud painfully narrated how they sold land, cattle, and most of their property to finance the programme.
Pressure is mounting on the county officials to explain how millions of shillings they deposited in a bank account were withdrawn under mysterious circumstances in the run up to the 2022 General Elections.
In a meeting with Uasin Gishu County leadership, parents demanded answers on what they had hoped would be a genuine airlift programme terming it as a ‘pyramid scheme.’
”You are very mean with the truth, you keep lying at us with a very smooth tongue, a very soft face that looks like it is very innocent, but you keep on lying, and lying,’ one student told former governor Jackon Mandago.
Moreover, the County government of Uasin Gishu had opened a bank account in January 2021 where the beneficiaries of the programme deposited their money and had a closing balance of Ksh43 million by the end of the year.
In addition, the money was to be paid to Finland’s Tampere University but mysterious withdrawals of huge sums of cash amounting to around Ksh600,000 was witnessed, raising eyebrows on whether the programme was genuine.
”In April alone last year, Ksh196 million was withdrawn from that account, only four cheques. There is also another money of one hundred and twenty-five million, written as purchase of forex,’ another parent explained.
The county governor Jonathan Bii said he had invited Senator Jackson Mandago to address the concerns, since he inherited the program from his predecessor.
Parties signed a memorandum of understanding in 2021 between the county government and the Tampere University which saw the government pay an initial sum of 216,000 euros that catered for twenty-five students.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) already launched a probe into alleged embezzlement of the millions.
In a statement, the anti-graft agency said, “As governor, he also exercised oversight over the Department of Youth, Gender and Sports Affairs, where the program was domiciled, and he is alleged to have played key roles in the adoption of the programme.”