The embattled Nambale High School Principal has defied transfer from the institution by the Teachers Service Commission – it is one of the leading high schools in Busia County with a student population of more than 1, 200 students.
Emerging reports indicate the principal Charles Hongo is instead fighting for the cancellation of the transfer from the institution which is considered highly lucrative because of the high student population whose parents are fleeced of millions of shillings at every start of academic school terms.
An insider source who requested not to be named for fear of being victimized said: “As we speak at this very moment Mr. Hongo has rushed to Nairobi to fight for the cancellation of his transfer at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) headquarters through his connection not only at the TSC, but also the ministry of education and political connections.”
However the now erupting information from the institution indicates that the principal arrived back at the institution in and ordered all teachers on and off duty to appear in his board room for an immediate dress down.
According to the source, Hongo ordered the teachers to stop peddling any rumours or stories about the institution to outsiders so long as he remained in authority as Nambale high School’s de-facto boss whether they liked it or not or they will face “devastating consequences.”
These developments are emerging when earlier reports had confirmed that Hongo had travelled to meet his “God fathers at the TSC, the Ministry of Education and powerful politicos” to ensure that the transfer was nullified after the chairman of the school’s board of management had confirmed it following media inquiries.
The emerging issue is the fact this development is creating more problems than solving them, but at whose cost? Parents who are pouring hundreds of millions of shillings and the government to finance the high school’s inflated daily demands?
The Board boss Prof Okumu Bigambo of Moi University Eldoret had confirmed that indeed there was a transfer and said: “It is possible the headquarters has issues best known to themselves. Let us keep our peace as it is now. No alarm so far” .
The source said that the principal received the transfer letter early this month to move to go to Kevaywa high school to be replaced by yet another seasoned high school principal by an official letter from the TSC headquarters but refused to move with immediate effect as ordered by his employer.
He said that the bottom line is the fact that Mr. Hongo is allegedly making a lot of money right from the tendering for the students and non-teaching staff uniforms, food and other essential supplies to the institution, mattresses for the students amongst many other things that are required to run the institution at highly inflated prices to pocket the proceeds.
“The best example I can give is that of the students’ mattresses where Mr. Hongo is the principal supplier and charges the parents buying them for their children who are students at the institution double the market prices and gets away with it,” said the source.
The principal is also facing queries for contracting watchmen to man the school from a Kisumu County based security firms where he has deep vested interests thus generating money to feed his hungry pockets for cash money from the school’s coffers.
It also emerged that he has now made all the watchmen who are out of Busia county to be housed at the institution for reasons best known to himself and some few members of the institutions Board of Management.
Early this year trouble erupted at the institution when it emerged that Mr. Hongo was running the multi-million shillings public school as a personal entity totally without any sense of team work with teachers and other employees under him.
His Predecessor Mr. Solomon Sisuma had also been captured on audio narrating how Hongo had awarded him lucrative tenders which included the supply of maize to the school among others.
Parents and stakeholders were up in arms over the fact that Mr. Hongo had either sacked or demoted security officers at the institution and replaced them with those from the firm related to him based in Kisumu called Pride King.
The institution’s teachers were also up in arms against their principal from the “crude, barbaric and un-professional” way he was handling them, yet they have been the backbone of the school’s sterling performance and development in the last decade alone.
They were demanding to know why a high school in Busia County should have security officers from Mr. Hongo’s Kisumu County’s based security firm when locally hired security officers had been manning the institution since its establishment in the 1960s – not to mention the fact that there were many Busia County based security firms that could be hired.
Nambale High School has been one of the best performing High Schools in the region with a student population of more than 1200 being among the top five in the county and 100 in the Kenya Secondary Examinations (KCSE) under the leadership of the previous principal Solomon Sisuma who was transferred with protest from stakeholders.