Flight hitches delay arrival of student's body from Finland for burial
What you need to know:
- There was no plane with cold room facilities leaving Finland to Nairobi on Tuesday as earlier anticipated
- The only available flight was for Thursday 8pm, which the Kenyan embassy in Finland booked, resulting in the changes
- The Kenyan Embassy in Finland has confirmed that the body will leave the country on Thursday to arrive at JKIA on Friday
- It is expected to arrive at Eldoret International Airport at 7am on Friday, ahead of burial on Tuesday
The arrival of the body of the Kenyan student who died by suicide in Finland has been delayed due to flight problems.
As a result, the family has rescheduled the funeral to Tuesday next week.
The body had been expected to arrive in the country on Tuesday and the burial was to take place on Friday at Chirchir village in Kesses constituency, Uasin Gishu County.
However, there was no plane with cold room facilities leaving Finland to Nairobi on Tuesday as earlier anticipated. The only available flight was for Thursday 8pm, which the Kenyan embassy in Finland booked, resulting in the changes.
Mr Boniface Kemboi, the elder brother of the late Rodgers Kipruto, 26, told Nation.Africa that the embassy in Finland has confirmed that the body will leave the country on Thursday. It is expected to arrive at Eldoret International Airport at 7am on Friday.
Government foots funeral bills
The national government, through the Kenyan embassy in Finland, will pay for the transport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi, while the Uasin Gishu County government will pay for the transport from JKIA to Eldoret International Airport.
"The county government has promised to pay for the mortuary and bring the body to our Chirchir home for burial," Mr Kemboi added.
Kipruto was among students from Uasin Gishu County who were flown to Finland as part of a controversial study deal between the county and three universities there.
Kipruto, who took his life on April 18, 2023, was among students who had expressed frustration in the foreign country following a standoff between the county government and their parents over modalities of settling fee arrears to enable them to continue with their studies. He was a nursing student at Laurea University.
Some 202 students from the county went to study at Tampere, Jvaskyla and Laurea universities in Finland.
A standoff between the county government and parents over the modalities of settling fee arrears to enable students to continue their studies, among other complications, appears to have taken its toll on the student.
This came after it emerged that some county officials had been tampering with the students' funds, exposing them to the threat of deportation.
Laurea University, which had 66 physiotherapy and nursing students from the county under the study agreement, had put the students' studies on hold until their tuition fees for the second semester were paid.
Under the agreement, parents were to pay school fees through a trust account, with the county government acting as guarantor.
The controversial scholarship deal was struck during the administration of former governor Jackson Mandago, now the senator for Uasin Gishu, who has denied any wrongdoing over the programme.
He said officials from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission have never visited his office to investigate allegations of embezzlement and questioned claims that he may have used funds meant for students studying in Finland.
An ad hoc committee of the county assembly formed in February to investigate the scam recommended that the managers of the Overseas Education Account be investigated for forgery, abuse of office and integrity.
They include Mr Joseph Maritim - former principal officer in the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Principal Trustee, Mr Joel Ruto, director of the Uasin Gishu County Education Revolving Fund and trustee, Mr Meshack Rono, deputy director of the Uasin Gishu County Revolving Fund and trustee, among others. The officials all served under Mr Mandago.