The Teacher Service Commission (TSC) has defended the corruption and gross misconduct allegations of Lavington Girls Secondary School principal Judith Ombima who has been at the institution for 11 years.
It was alleged that Ombima employed her sister as the cateress and Matron of the school. Her sister-in-law was employed as a cook and resides in the school, according to the board.
Further, the principal has been accused of employing her brother and husband to the matron as a painter and grass cutter and has been allocated a residence at the school.
What the board says is that the alleged relatives are receiving more monthly payment than other staff who have worked at the school for long.
The Board also states that the principal knowingly employed a bursar who doubles up as the store supervisor who’s a sister to the immediate previous bursar who quite the job. The bursar lacks integrity and accountability as a holder of both positions according to the board.
The teachers’ employer has stated that it can not interdict the principal on blinded allegations unless advised by the Ministry of Education. The board of the school had requested TSC to interdict the teacher over numerous claims of corruption, nepotism, and abuse of office.
When receiving a copy of the allegations from the board, the TSC Head of Communication Beatrice Wababu said the commission had deployed its officers who partnered with DCI and Ministry officials to conduct investigations.
“Upon conclusion, we established that the claims are baseless but instigated by the deputy principal and a few board members. To us this is a matter of bad blood and not gross misconduct as claimed,” she said.
Misappropriation of school funds
The board accused the principal on misappropriation of funds for personal gain or use. They accuse the school principal of hiring school grounds for events and drawing all the payments collected into her mobile number.
The board has also accused him of receiving large amounts of school fees from parents in cash which is against the Ministry of Education directive. the board says these payments are not banked into the school accounts.
The BOM says the principal has severally received contributions in terms of funds towards school development directly as cash into her mobile phone without disclosing the same to the BOM nor depositing the monies to the school bank accounts for accountability.
“TSC cannot just interdict a teacher without a formal report from the ministry of education. We followed the matter keenly and from the audited reports, there was no evidence to demonstrate that funds had been misappropriated”. Wababu said.
According to Wababu, the school principal is headed for retirement by end of January 2021, but a report filed by the Ministry reveals an issue of bad blood with her deputy and therefore the commission cannot pry in personal issues.
“The board must in its wisdom mediate the matter and enable an avenue to reconcile the principal with her juniors,” Wababu said even as she warned the board about politicizing the matter.
The deputy principal Mrs Janet, however, dismissed claims that she is behind the accusations noting that she was not aware of anything until she saw the DCI, TSC and officials from the Ministry of Education in school.
“As a deputy principal, I only sit in the board meeting on behalf of the principal when she has asked me to take notes on her behalf. Otherwise, my roles are limited as to when it comes to management,” she said.
According to the principal, the chairman of the board who has been avoiding meetings conspired with about half of 14 board members, crafted the assertions and sent them to the commission calling for her interdiction.