Nyali Board of Management taken to court after failed attempt to rig club elections

John Kombo Nyali Principal (centre in grey shirt)

Many scandals have characterized Nyali School located along Links Road in Mombasa County in the recent past few years. However, there has been drama in the last one month with the quitting of its Corrupt head teacher – Mr. John Kombo aka JK (although uncertainty still surrounds it), adjourned AGM where the board attempted to Rig election and eventually a parent rushes to court to seek its protection.  

It all started when the board of Management gave into pressure by parents and decided to call for an AGM on the 19th March, 2022, with Elections of Board of Management being one of the hot Agenda. On 21st February, 2022, the secretary of the club circulated a notice of an AGM and election of the club board members. Many did not believe it but at last the fading hopes of removing the board of management that had protected theft in Nyali was revived and parents saw light at the end of the tunnel.    

More shock will follow when Parents of Nyali School received yet another circular on 1st March, 2022 but this time from unlikely source. The trustees of the club who have been dormant for so long, would this time break the news that many parents have been praying for. They confirmed that the Nyali long serving corrupt head teacher JK has decided to formally exit his contract and pursue other interests. JK who in reality had his contract expiring at the end of December 2021 is said to have requested to have his exit in December 2021 but was “requested” to stay up to the time the KCPE candidates of 2021 finalizes with their exams. This confirmed what parents have been knowing that JK had his contract expiring in December 2021. In the letter, the trustees promised to arrange for a party for a befitting send off for the corrupt head teacher.  

With all the circulars being released, parents waited for KCPE to be finalized and preside over the exit of JK but nothing would come over. KCPE results were released and JK teacher would chest thumb the good results that came out of efforts by teachers and kids to reignite his continuance stay. However, no sign JK quitting was noticed and in contrast, his accomplices started hinting that JK is not going anywhere. This started to raise eye brows among parents but as the AGM was nearing, parents were waiting for it to put a killer blow to the old man tricks.

To the agenda of the Election, Nyali was for the first time going to see real elections as before, the JK would always pick his preferred candidates and forces the chairperson of the election board to read the names during the AGM. The Chair of the Election board would then come to the AGM and read the list given to him by JK. This time parents were very alert and they would form and nominate their own team (Team Change) to counter the Old Man’s list (Team JK). Parents nominated their candidates based on merit and integrity while team JK were nominated on the basis of protecting JK and his continue stay to continue fleecing Nyali School. In the list of JK are a good number of the current outgoing board members. Members who were supportive of corruption regime including but not limited to the Bus scandal that almost saw the school loose 600K. Funny enough, a lady who resigned as a head of procurement committee while heading the committee after failing to agree with the current treasurer on some deals, found themselves both in the list of JK. But this time, the current treasurer is aiming to head the procurement section himself in what many see as a window to extract maximum from the school. In the list of JK is also a lady who once headed a public office but was forced to quit due to her incompetence. This lady had even twice served in the school board but failed to bring any discipline in the financial management. Another one currently heading a dormant public organization and is perceived to be idle is also aiming for a position in JK’s  List. JK list is full of people with scandals, with one person who aspired to be an MP position in Mombasa but was massively defeated is also in the list. This person who also once conned the school to believe that he shall deliver the land in dispute near the school with Mombasa business tycoons but only to eat millions of the school money before paving way for another land broker to continue the game. The man has been very busy insulting parents and creating religious tensions in parents WhatsApp groups.

As the Election day was approaching, JK was busy planning on how to rig the election while parents were aggressively campaigning. JK knew that the only way to sneak his list is through rigging. On the Election day, he ensured that he put his people on the front desk to clear non-members voters some of whom are not even parents in the school, himself was also busy seen campaigning and trying to lure some few parents to insert extra ballot papers on the ballot boxes. Despite all this, parents came in number and were ready to put in a board with integrity and focus on eradicating corruption. On seeing this, the old man sensed defeat and had to lie to members that active members are 1200 and so the required quorum is a third (400). However, in reality, active members are less than 600 and quorum ought to have been less than 200. Although the meeting was attended by over 200 members, the meeting was adjourned to allow team JK to re-strategize.

The AGM was then rescheduled for 2nd April, 2022 but this time JK made sure that he has planned well. He took relatives of some of his nominees and provided them with fake membership card, a process that was being spear headed by the school IT personnel. This IT person who comes from the same village with JK is said to have issued many fake cards to non-members in preparation for the repeat AGM. Some people are believed to have come all the way from Western Kenya to come, issued with fake Membership card and were scheduled to vote.  The IT person is said to have worked day and night to ensure all these ghost members were issued with card. JK himself made several calls to new members who do not know much about his corruption, asking them to give at least ten people so that they could be issued with fake cards. JK even promised each ghost member 10K for just casting their votes. JK’s plan was to have everyone on his side sited in the Election Hall by 7am and by 9am, the AGM starts and is moved very fast and by 9.30am Election are done. He knew many parents would come later during the day and would miss the Election. His plans were leaked by a very close person of JK and that forced a parent, without telling anyone else of his move, to rush to court and seek its intervention.          

In an affidavit sworn by the parent, the parent has sought a temporary order of injunction to restrain the Board of Management, its servants, agents, employees, assigns and/or any other person or entity claiming through it from in any manner from conducting, taking part or undertaking an Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 2nd April, 2022 pending inter-parties hearing of his application.

The parent has raised the following:

·         From the financial accounts of 2019, 2020 & 2021 where massive irregularities were noticed, the parent fear that the current board wants to have them adopted during the AGM and then run away from the responsibility of the losses. In particular, he raised concern on the abnormal rise of figures in Printing & Stationeries, Fuel & Oils, Motor Vehicle repairs, cafeteria and many others. The parent now want the court to allow time for more investigations into the huge increase and unravel any corruption that might have accompanied it.
·         The parent also wants the court to clear issues related to the Election. His efforts to have information, have observers and a free & fair election process were unsuccessful after the Board of Management refused to give information.  His demands to have observers was also denied without any legal reasons. The election board whose mandate ended in 2019 is also wrongly constituted and is full of people inserted by JK. The parents now want the court to clear several issues related to the Election process and a confirmation that election will be free and fair and will that it will not be interfered by JK. He also wants the court to declare the current board of Election as partisan and under the influence of JK and unfit to preside over the election.  The chairman of the Election board has been seen getting instructions from JK and dancing to JK’s tune. It is believed that the Election Chairperson had already been instructed to be very wild on any one seeking to verify the voters cleared for the election process. This would have paved way for the Ghost members to quickly vote and sneak JK’s List.

·         The parent has also raised an issue with the current treasurer being a shareholder of Paramount Education Center, a school that is co-owned with JK. The parent now want the court to declare a conflict of interest on the side of the treasurer and that the treasurer takes responsibility of the money lost during his tenure. It is believed the huge losses in 2020 was contributed by among other reasons payment of ghost workers who are believed to work for Paramount. 

·         The parent also raised concern on the stalled High school project in Mavueni, Kilifi County. The parent noted that, despite funds having been used in the project, there has been no accounts on how money was spent and neither has the project finished. The parent now wants the court to order a further scrutiny of the project and that people responsible for the losses of school funds be apprehended and taken to task.  

The matter which is now before Hon C. N. Ndegwa in a civil suit No. 490B of 2022 under certificate of urgency and is set for a hearing on the 26th April, 2022 before Court 16 in Mombasa Law courts. It is clear now that, Nyali issues will now have to be resolved in court after the board refused to eradicate corrupt practices that has the seen the school loose millions of its finances.

While this move really annoyed JK and his current board of management, many parents welcomed the move as it would unravel many issues that JK and his board have been terming them as “Umbea” in the past. The school is yet to respond to the plaintiff demands but it has given JK and his board of Management sleepless nights. For many years they have taken parents for granted with soft cunning words. But this time, they will face a court proceeding where they will be compelled to give the truth of all the issues raised by the plaintiff.

Parents are praying that they get justice and all their money lost through corruption be returned back and those responsible be taken legal action against. 

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