Nairobi — A lobby dubbed ‘Tunza Mtoto Coalition Kenya’ has filed a petition in the high court challenging Governor Johnson Sakaja’s feeding program ‘Dishi na County’ for students enrolled in public primary schools in the county.
In her suit, Tunza Mtoto Coalition Executive Director Janet Muthoni Ouko argued that the program dubbed ‘Dishi na County’ is illegal as education is a National Government function.
Through her lawyer Maureen Nasimiyu, she argued that the governor and President William Ruto did not sign any document to transfer the National Government’s roles to the County.
“No legal Notice was ever published authorizing the transfer and delegation of powers, functions and competencies of the national government function in respect to primary schools to the County Government,” the petition reads.
“Neither was there a Deed of Transfer signed between the National Government and the County Government authorizing the transfer of the said functions and therefore the launch by the 1st and 2nd Respondents is illegal, unconstitutional and a gross violation of Articles 185(2), 186(1) and 187(2) of the Constitution, 2010.”
In the petition, Ouko who was the former County Education CEC for Nairobi asked the court to give conservatory orders halting and/or suspending the release and spending of the money allocated to the school-feeding programme known as “Dishi na County” which is meant to benefit public primary schools.
According to Muthoni, at least Sh1.7 billion has been set aside for the program by the county arguing that the money will be illegally spent on a function that is not anchored on a devolved unit of government.
She argued that added that Governor Sakaja has launched the programme without public participation, a decision whose legality she has challenged.
“The governor erred in launching the school feeding programme. That is not a mandate of counties; rather it is the national government’s role,” read the petition.
The lobby termed the matter as urgent, arguing that on Wednesday Education CS Ezekiel Machogu met with the head teachers drawn from all primary schools for a briefing on the school feeding initiative which shows that the respondents are gearing towards commencement.
“The construction of the said kitchens has already begun. It is therefore just that this application be heard on a priority basis and that the orders sought to be granted to avert a miscarriage of justice,” reads the petition.
It was not clear by last evening whether the lobby group had obtained the court orders it was seeking.