Inside Politics

Sakaja responds to allegations that school feeding programme has failed

Monday, September 18th, 2023 18:26 | By
Johnson Sakaja
President William Ruto, Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja and Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris during the launch of 'Dishi na County' programme. PHOTO/Johnstone Sakaja

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja has refuted claims that his school feeding programme has failed in some schools.

In a statement on Monday, September 18, 2023, Sakaja said that the reports were propaganda spread by his enemies and that the programme was right in course.

"A few people are against our feeding program for nefarious reasons. Resorting to propaganda won’t work. Using children for politics won’t work. The first phase of schools onboarded have been getting their hot meals daily and on time. All head teachers have communication to continue with their arrangements until the county communicates once the next phase begins," Sakaja stated.

According to the governor, at least 80,000 students are enjoying daily meals in the phased implementation.

In a video posted by Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, it was alleged that students at Tumaini Primary School in Umoja did not receive their lunch as promised by the County Government.

Sakaja on 2027 politics

According to Sakaja, the allegations are meant to elevate some politicians ahead of the 2027 General Elections.

"Sadly, opportunistic premature 2027 aspirants, are so hellbent that this shouldn’t work that they are even considering harming our children," he added.

In a statement, acting Nairobi County Secretary and Head of Public Service Patrick Analo said the programme has been rolled out in 45 schools in the last three weeks.

"For the past 3 weeks, the county has been feeding about 80,000 students in 45 primary and ECDE schools in Nairobi - as part of the first stage of implementation. The County has endeavoured to communicate directly to the schools through the Ministry of Education's regional office. Each of the head teachers was made aware of which phase each of their schools falls and were urged to sustain their existing feeding programmes until there is clear communication from the county on the commencement of 'Dishi na County in their schools," Analo stated.

According to Analo, the second stage will reach over 190,000 children a day, and the final stage will commence subsequently - reaching the targeted 250,000 children goal.

"In preparation for the next phases, the county has continued to onboard children in the remaining public schools through a registration process. There have been concerns that some parents in schools in the next phases have loaded money onto the 'Tap to Eat' platform - this is to assure them that money will only be expensed when the children have been provided with food," he added.

The headteacher of Tumaini Primary School Mrs Millicent Kefa apologised for the clip, saying that the school was going on with the school-based feeding programme until the county programme is rolled out in the school.

"We are going on with our programme for now until this other programme of 'Dishi na County' will be rolled out," she said.

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