Education CS Ezekiel Machogu walks back on varsities fund cut

Ezekiel Machogu

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu, Germany Ambassador to Kenya Sebastian Groth and KIST Principal Sammy Kamau Waititu during the ground-breaking ceremony for the project promotion of youth employment and vocational training at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology on November 8, 2022.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru I Nation Media Group

Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ezekiel Machogu has backtracked on his earlier statement regarding state funding of public universities and said that the capitation funds will continue. 

Mr Machogu said that although the government is working on budget cuts for other ministries, the money allocated to the Ministry of Education would not be affected and told the universities to “relax”.

“Nobody is interfering with the money. All the funds for Education are ring-fenced. Nobody ever said that university funding will be done away with. Government is supporting universities and will continue to support them through capitation. Government will never stop funding universities” Mr Machogu said Tuesday at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology  when he officiated at a groundbreaking ceremony for a industrial mechatronics workshop. 

“If there are other ways to increase revenue, why not?” Mr Machogu said.

On Saturday, while on a tour of Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, the CS was reported to have said that the government would discontinue funding of public universities.

The statement caused a public uproar, with various stakeholders calling on Mr Machogu to withdraw the statement. He denied ever making the statement.

“The Government has allocated capitation of Ksh. 50 billion for University Education and Ksh 15.8 billion to the Higher Education Loans Board. I also want to assure the public that the government will continue to support university education through regular exchequer support as well as building their capacity to raise more resources through other revenue streams,” Mr Machogu said. 

Public universities have cumulatively a debt of Sh56.1 billion which is owed to various enties including, suppliers, the Kenya Revenue Authority, part-time lecturers and pensions. 

On Saturday, Mr Machogu is reported to have said:

“I’m going to move around each and every university in Kenya because a number of our universities are face with problems particularly finance," he said.

He added: "You get them complaining about underfunding and we’re encouraging that they must generate their own revenue because The Exchequer as it is now isn’t going to be able to continue funding more because in Kenya, education takes 25.9 per cent (of the national budget). So we have to find other ways of creating and generating revenue for universities and they have to look for other revenue streams.”