Former head of public service Francis Muthaura has revealed that retired President Mwai Kibaki used his influence to give his two grandchildren scholarships at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Australia.
Appearing before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee, Muthaura said that Kibaki directed him to ensure that two children of his nephew, Mr Philip Githinji, got government sponsorship to study in Australia.
Ian Githinji enrolled for a master’s degree in analytics while Sandra Githinji pursued bachelor’s degree in interior design with the duo costing the taxpayer over 20 million shillings.
According to Muthaura, Githinji appealed to the President for help after losing his job at oil Libya to assist the students through a Government-sponsored scholarship.
“He made an appeal to the president to be assisted through the government scholarship programme. The president considered the request and directed me to present the case to the Ministry of Education,” Muthaura said.
He appealed to the committee for sympathy saying the government was still transitioning to the new constitutional order at the time.
“Sympathize with us because we were under transition and had not yet developed the instruments,” he said.
Former Higher Education PS Crispus Kiamba defended the scholarships saying the president acted within his powers.
“We were helping a Kenyan and the ministry was sponsoring students within the East African region and outside,” he said.