No food bear­ing lead­ers’ cam­paign pic­tures — CS

Governors put their por­traits on mock exam pa­per, T-shirts and on school buses. ‘I have never seen such mad­ness in my life,’ says Ma­tiang’i

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Ministries - ALLOYS MUSYOKA @k2­musyoka

Ed­u­ca­tion CS Fred Ma­tiang’i yes­ter­day crit­i­cised politi­cians who wanted to pro­vide food — bear­ing their pho­tos and slo­gans — to KPCE exam can­di­dates in Mom­basa. He said the gov­ern­ment will not al­low petty pol­i­tics in schools.

Ma­tiang’i sup­ported Coast Re­gional co­or­di­na­tor Nel­son Marwa’s di­rec­tive to bar politi­cians from pro­vid­ing food to KCPE exam can­di­dates.

Mom­basa Gover­nor Has­san Joho wanted to dis­trib­ute food in pack­ages bear­ing his por­trait and a pic­ture of cheer­ing chil­dren.

The con­tain­ers bore the words ‘Has­san Joho wishes you the best in your an­nual ex­ams, baba ni kulea … 001’.

Ma­tiang’i said it is un­for­tu­nate lead- ers are tak­ing pol­i­tics to school­child­ren for self­ish in­ter­ests. He spoke in Kwale as he toured schools.

He said pri­mary and sec­ondary school ed­u­ca­tion is a na­tional and not a county func­tion. “If every­one goes to our schools and prints T-shirts and por­traits, how would the schools look?” Ma­tiang’i asked.

He said the gov­ern­ment is not ban­ning politi­cians from feed­ing chil­dren, but they are ask­ing “sim­ple com­mon sense ques­tions”. “You take bread and put your por­trait on it and bring it to the chil­dren, can’t we be sat­is­fied if your por­trait is not there? We will not al­low it to hap­pen now or in the fu­ture,” Ma­tiang’i said.

The CS said the gov­ern­ment will not al­low an­ar­chy in such is­sues. “You saw what they did dur­ing the mock ex­ams. Governors put their por­traits on exam pa­pers. I have never seen such mad­ness in my life. Oth­ers bought school buses and put pic­tures of them­selves on them,” he said. “Imag­ine walk­ing into a school and you find a face of gover­nor in one wall and a face of an­other pre­tender in a se­cond wall.”

Ma­tiang’i said those who want to pro­vide food for schools must con­sult the deputy county ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tors and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. “What I ex­pect to see in a school is a Pres­i­dent’s por­trait, pe­riod,” he said.

He said Mus­lim and Chris­tian or­gan­i­sa­tions sup­port schools, but they never blow their own trum­pets. “The Catholic Church sup­ports chil­dren in many ways and they don’t go around ar­gu­ing with the county, re­gional com­mis­sion­ers, the Ed­u­ca­tion CS and telling every­one off,” Ma­tiang’i said.

On Mon­day, Marwa barred politi­cians from pro­vid­ing food to KCPE can­di­dates. Schools in Mom­basa obeyed the di­rec­tive and turned down the food.

‘IMAG­INE WALK­ING INTO A SCHOOL AND YOU FIND A FACE OF GOVER­NOR IN ONE WALL AND A FACE OF AN­OTHER PRE­TENDER IN A SE­COND WALL’

/ALLOYS MUSYOKA

Ed­u­ca­tion CS Fred Ma­tiang’i shakes hands with stan­dard eight can­di­dates at Jomo Kenyatta Pri­mary School yes­ter­day af­ter su­per­vis­ing KCPE exam con­tainer open­ing in Msamb­weni sub­county of­fices

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