It has emerged that former Embakasi South Mp Irshad Sumra could have used Constituency Development Funds (CDF) for ‘personal’ uses, among them buying a PSV vehicle in 2015.
In 2014/2015 financial year, the CDF kitty was used to buy a school bus (KCE 129L) for St Stevens Secondary School in Embakasi.
However, as fate could have it, the school never had the services of the bus for even a single day, as it was converted to a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) almost immediately, working under the City Shuttle banner.
The bus has been operating in the city, but when the election of Julius Mawathe was invalidated and a by-election ordered, the bus was taken to hiding in Nyangancha Market in Kisii County.
Interestingly, St Stevens is a private school which makes it ineligible to benefit from CDF money. However, Sumra says that they were not aware of the situation and decided to give the bus to another school later.
“We made a mistake in purchasing a bus for St Stevens Secondary School, which we realised later, so we decided to re-allocate it (the bus) to Embakasi Girls. But, unfortunately, it was involved in an accident that killed people. The bus is at the garage and immediately it’s good we shall take it to Embakasi Girls,” said Sumra.
The Nation reports that the director of St Stevens Mr Zablon Karani could have been involved in the scandal as he said that the bus was in garage, but could not identify the garage.
“I am not aware that the bus has been rebranded. Some people are just making up pictures and sharing them. According to me, the bus is at the garage,” said Mr Karani.
It is reported that in Kisii the bus was set to be repainted and the City Shuttle branding removed. It is however not clear how it was going to be rebranded.
At Kisii, it is reported that the bus is under ‘tight security’, with journalists who were taking photos being roughed up by a group that was guarding it with orders from the ‘owner’.
According to the driver of the bus who was among the ‘guards’ and refused to reveal his identity, “the bus was bought from the school after it was involved in an accident and the CDF committee abandoned it at the garage. The owner of the school repaired and then sold it.”
Records at the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) show that Mwananchi Credit Limited and Zipporah Buyaki Nyakwara own the bus, with St Stevens Secondary School indicated as the previous owner.
However, NTSA records show the bus has not been registered under any sacco.
It seems that it is not the first school bus scandal he is involved in. Sumra and his committee could have possibly pocketed Ksh5.38 million in 2014/15 financial year, meant for another school bus, for Njenga Primary School.
The project is marked as having been “completed” on November 28, 2015. However, the school principal, Cyprine Aboye, says she has never seen the bus within the school premises and was not involved in any process of buying it.