Scholarships: Outcry as Governor Nyaribo blacklists those who didn't vote in Nyamira

Amos Nyaribo

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo during the disbursement of county bursary. 

Photo credit: Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

The decision by Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo to bar ‘non-voters’ from accessing county scholarship funds has elicited sharp reactions after some needy cases were locked out.

Ms Mary Kemunto from Kemera Ward claimed that her application was rejected because she voted in Kisii during the last General Election.

The widow and mother of three said she was informed that even though she is a resident of Nyamira by birth, she voted in Kisii where her late husband hailed from.

“I do not know what to do now.  I am struggling financially and need support to educate my children,” she said.

Mr John Okemwa from Nyamaiya Ward said his son was barred from benefiting from the county scholarship because he is not a registered voter.

Governor Nyaribo had issued directives to the effect that only registered voters in the county are eligible for the county education scholarship.

“Those whose parents are not voters in Nyamira, you belong elsewhere where your parents vote. Go and apply for  bursary there. It's just like that,” said Mr Nyaribo on Monday while disbursing cheques to needy children in the county.

The scholarships were issued to candidates who performed well in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams and are set to join secondary school.

This is the third phase of the Nyamira County Scholarship Programme meant to assist bright but needy students in pursuing their education.

“Our selection was rigorous to ensure that the most qualified and those in dire need of the support benefit,” said Mr Nyaribo.

The applicants who scored 300 marks and above were vetted by the Ward Scholarship Committees and approved by the Nyamira County Education Support Fund Board.

The list was then sent back to Ward Administrators for the public to give their views and concerns about the beneficiaries.

The 250 beneficiaries will join Form One. Already, there are 450 students under the scholarship program, which we started in 2021, who are in Form Two and Form Three.

At least 10 deserving candidates were selected from each of the 20 wards in Nyamira County.

They will enjoy a full four-year secondary education scholarship worth Sh 14 million. This includes school fees, uniforms and a box.

“I reiterate that this scholarship programme is in line with my development agenda to improve the level of education in Nyamira County,” said Mr Nyaribo, adding that his administration has invested heavily in education.

He added, “We have invested in Early Childhood Development Education, infrastructural development in schools and Vocational Training Centres.”

The county government will also roll out bursaries for needy students in secondary schools.

“As I have mentioned earlier, the county will pay bursary for Form One and Form Two students while MPs through CDF will pay for Form Three and Form Four students,” noted Mr Nyaribo.

He added: “I wish to encourage students who have benefitted from the scholarship program to work hard in school and maintain high levels of discipline so that you can achieve your goals.  Remember that there is no substitute for hard work and hard work always pays.”

He encouraged parents to mentor their children in their youthful years so that they grow up to be respectful and law-abiding citizens.