Ward manager on the run after misappropriating KES 5M bursary kitty
19 October 2015, 09:55
Vihiga - A ward manager at Shamakhokho, Vihiga County, has disappeared after misappropriated KES 5 million ward bursary fund.
Vincent Sultan was accused of signing bursary cheques in August and early this month yet he is not a signatory to the ward bursary fund account.
The 30 cheques he allegedly signed affected students from different schools, among them Senende High School and Shamakhokho Secondary.
Moi and Mt Kenya University students were also affected after the cheques were rejected by various banks due to irregular signatures.
Sultan, who is also the personal assistant to Shamakhokho ward representative Richard Muhiga, was also accused of selling the bouncing cheques to unsuspecting parents.
“We have noted the anomaly and the case is being investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department in the County. We will only make conclusive remarks after the officers are through with their investigations,” said Muhiga.
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He added, "We learnt that the cheque book for the ward's bursary kitty had gone missing. We also learnt that my ward manager was signing the cheques yet he is not a signatory to the ward's bursary account."
Sultan allegedly signed on a cheque of KES 65 000 for a student of Moi University in August, and another cheque of KES 40 000 to a Mt Kenya University students, both of which bounced.
He then wrote a follow up letter to the Eldoret-based university and signed it in the name of Shamakhokho ward administrator, Derrick Anusu.
In some of the cheques seen by the press, Sultan did another cheque of KES 25 000 to Senende high school on October 13 and two others of KES 12 000 to Shamakhokho Secondary during the same period.
The forged signatures, Muhiga noted, had led to rejection of many cheques by banks, consequently affecting many needy students who were to benefit from the ward bursary kitty.
As a result, Muhiga said, he wrote to the county assembly clerk asking her to stop the salaries for ward staff until the matter affecting his personal assistant was settled.
But residents accused Muhiga of colluding with his personal assistant to siphon money from the bursary kitty.
Led by Amutavi Shivaji, the residents claimed Muhiga and Sultan had usurped the functions of the ward administrator.
"The work of issuing bursary cheques at the ward level falls squarely under the office of the ward administrator. The MCA plays the legislative and oversight role," said Shivaji.
He said the cheques had been turned into a commodity for sale in the ward, and threatened to stage demonstrations against the ward officers if the matter is not solved.
County Education Executive Nixon Amendi said the issue of forged signatures and bouncing cheques for the ward bursary had also been reported in Izava/Lyaduywa and Central Maragoli wards.
"We have sent auditors to those wards and we are waiting for their report on the same," Amendi said.
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