Politicians in Butere /Mumias urged to shun divisive politics and support education
Written by Joseph Manyasa
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Divisive politics and clannish differences are the major reasons why there is no public college or university in the larger Butere-Mumias region.
Support Activities in Poverty Eradication and Health (SAIPEH) Executive Director Mr. Justine Mutobera regrets that as leaders from other areas unite to set up middle level colleges and even universities, those in Butere, Khwisero, Mumias and Matungu districts were torn apart by infighting.
Mr. Mutobera who recently ditched UDF for ODM said it was time local leaders work in harmony to set up at least a tertiary institution if not a university college within the area so as to boost academic standards of the children within the four districts.
“As other areas set up colleges and universities to boost their human resource capacities, our community continues to lag behind since no concerted efforts have been made by leaders towards establishing even a single middle level college,” lamented Mutobera.
He said the idea to establish the University College was hatched 12 years ago but local politicians shot it down arguing that no land was at the time available for the facility.
“It was prudent for local politicians to shun personal political interests when dealing with issues that were beneficial to the larger community”, he added.
The director however commended the management committee of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) for opening up its branch at the Mumias Municipal Council that will be officially launched by the end of this year.
He added that the initiative will provide school leavers with post secondary education an opportunity to further their education and acquire relevant skills and training to enable them fit in today’s competitive job market.
“Having such institutions in the area transforms the community from largely weak consumer economy to a vibrant producer economy with efficient manpower”, said the director.
But he challenged local politicians together with education stakeholders from the region that it was only a beginning and they should unite in seeing that their ultimate goal is to have a fully pledged university and tertiary colleges are being set up soon.
He was speaking at SAIPEH field office in Shianda on Thursday where he disbursed cheques of over Sh. 2 million to cater for school fees for needy students in its area of operation.
The Education Scholarship Funds which is sponsored by Chello Foundation will benefit over 290 students in Primary and Secondary Schools, colleges and universities.
Addressing over 200 parents and guardians at the same function, Mutobera said the funds will help reduce cases of school dropout in the region.
The Chello Foundation is an independent international charity that focuses on providing educational scholarships to children orphaned or affected by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The Foundation receives significant support from Liberty Global.