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Parents lose Sh1.7m in fees con

Some 2,000 needy students are stranded after Senator Mike Sonko disowned a Facebook post that had asked them to submit their applications to benefit from scholarships.

The learners have also lost Sh845 each, which they had to pay via M-Pesa as registration fees, besides proving that they could not afford school fees. This comes to almost Sh1.7 million.

No word

Parents of the students who submitted their application said that no word had been forthcoming from the Senator in spite of their having met the requirements to enable them to benefit from the kitty.

Mr James Wambua, the officer in charge of operations at the senator’s office said the Facebook account going under the name ‘Mike Sonko’ was being run by imposters.

“The said account does not belong to the senator. It is the work of imposters and we have notified the police. Ours has more friends and followers. We are advising our supporters to shun it,” he said.

One parent, Ms Luiza Atieno, said the post appeared convincing.

“I have a feeling it was just meant to boost his popularity, but it will be too bad if he can take advantage of our desperate situations to achieve this. After submitting the forms, there has been no word from his office,” Atieno said.

Another parent Beatrice Matete who left her contact on the Facebook wall said she sent all the details as requested but had not received any response.

Mrs Rose Mwasaru and Mr Collins Etemesi said they posted warnings on the wall as they doubted if that was Sonko’s genuine Facebook account.

One of the controversial posts on January 30 read: “Good morning watu wangu (my people). The registration for children who got a pass mark in their KCPE last year but can’t Join Secondary school because of fee, is still going on. My secretary has registered around 442 students and we expect the number to reach 2,000…”

A February 2 update said the targeted number had been reached.

“Good afternoon everybody. Please if you know you registered your child to Mike & Towney Foundation, confirm with my secretary before Tuesday…”

Aware that people would at some point begin doubting if the account was genuine, the administrator left a phone number registered under Mbuvi Gidion Kioko Mike Sonko, where money for registration was to be sent.

“Watu wangu (my people) if you have any doubts then this is my personal number 0727447777, you can send Sh10 or call me from 8.30pm to 6am to confirm you are dealing with your senator,” read yet another post.

County Director of Education, Mr Abdikadir Ali, said he was not aware of such a programme under the senator’s office.