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The Class PP2 Trip Scandal – Corruption hitting the ceiling at Nyali School

John Kombo Nyali Principal (centre in grey shirt)

“As the Swahili saying goes,” Ngoma ikivuma sana, ina karibia kupasuka”. The sounds from the drums of corruption at Nyali School (located along Links Road in Mombasa County) reached its highest levels last Friday when the class PP2 “Angels” were subjected to a humiliating conditions in what should have been an enjoyable day-out in an “Educational Trip”. Many have interpreted this as a sign of “Ngoma kukaribia kupasuka” and that the end to corrupt practices is getting close by day. John Kombo (the head teacher) who has destroyed the good image of the school just to enrich himself no longer cares for anything as his contract is coming to end by 30th November 2021 (although parents now hear that his contract was re-arranged to end on 31st December 2021). Mr. Kombo himself in a highly charged Special General Meeting in 2019 assured parents that he would exit the school by end of year 2020 but later and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was illegally offered one (1) year extension to cover for the lost time.

That aside, Parents of Nyali School who are now used to corrupt practices in the school never imagined that corruption would lead to the school robbing their young kids their fun just for someone to get a share of the cut from the trip fund.

For Many years, these school trips have been well organized to create a perception of “academic nature” but at the same time be sources of money for people whose main interest is to fleece the school and enrich themselves. The head teacher (John Kombo – one of the richest headteacher in the region) loved the trips so much that each term they couldn’t miss three or four. However, with COVID-19 hitting the country, all the trips came to a halt and shutting off the source of the money for some people. With the Country now opening up, Mr. Kombo has decided to start his money extracting sources with a bang. Already, almost each stream is scheduled to go for a trip before end of the year or probably before end of his term at Nyali School.

The Class PP 2 were organized to go for an academic trip that was scheduled to visit the Arabuko forest initially and Pride Inn Hotel for fun (lunch and swimming) before coming back to the school. Parents were charged Ksh. 2500 per kid this despite the school providing its own transport and its own drivers. The trip was only to cater for “fuel”, snacks and lunch. Many believe the figure is already on the highest side but under the corruption conditions of Nyali School, this figure was normal. Wanaume lazima wakule.

This trip for PP2 was entirely organized by a senior Kindergarten Teacher Ms. Cecilia secretly referred by many in the school as “Mama wa Mzee” because of her closeness with Mr. Kombo. It is said in the school that if you wish Mr. Kombo to mess with you, you are only required to mess with Ms. Cecilia. The lady is feared even by senior upper primary school teachers.

Ms. Cecilia masterminded everything while working closely with Mr. Kombo whom they ensured maximum extract shall be obtained from the trip. In any way, they were assured parents of Nyali would not know the details of how smart they were in getting their cut from the trip.

The excited innocent kids left the school on Friday 12th November, 2021 at 0730 hours in what was to be an exciting day. However, they Immediately headed to Naivas Supermarket at Nyali to “get snacks and water”. The kids were however left to wait in their buses at Naivas for almost three hours for Naivas to open and get snacks for 100 Kids. Many parents wonder why the snacks were not bought the previous day. The kids left Naivas at 11am and instead of being taken to Arabuko Forest as planned, they were taken to a private farm in Kilifi County belonging a parent wherein they were only shown poultry farm and few animals. The farm was very far in the interior of Kilifi County and by the time they reached there, it was already in the afternoon. The hungry Kids were later driven back to Mombasa and taken to Voyager Hotel (a cheaper Hotel than Pride Inn). The kids were supposed to have been given half board lunch comprising of a buffet but were instead offered half plate chips, a hot dog and a drink.

The Kids got a bigger shock when they were ordered to just get into the pool for only 15 – 20 Minutes in what many believe was to fool parents that the kids enjoyed swimming.

Almost all the young innocent kids came back home hungry and angry. Hungry for not have eaten food for the most part of the day and angry for not having had the fun they expected. This made many parents of PP2 protest against Mr. Kombo who immediately shifted the blame to the Kindergarten Teachers. On Monday 15th November 2021, a section of parents confronted Mr. Kombo in his office demanding explanation and Stop to these money fleecing trips. Many openly told Mr. Kombo to peacefully exit the school and go run his Paramount Educational Centre. The Parents have since remained in Shock on how their kids could be subjected to humiliating conditions just for someone to get a cut out of the trip.

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To make matters worst, the board of management and specifically the Education Committee has kept mute on the matter and gave Mr. Kombo a platform to play PR with parents. It is still unknown if the Education committee of the board was aware of the trip. Whatever the case, the Education committee has never been involved in any of the school academic issues. They only exist for display, Mr. Kombo runs the show Already, a circular has been released by the school giving an apology and confirming that the kids would be taken back to pride Inn and enjoy their swimming. In the letter, the school confirmed the trip was a failure but attributed some last minute changes to the abrupt changes of the initial plan. Many parents have welcomed the apology but wonder why wasn’t the trip postponed to cater for the changes and who will pay for this repeat exercise. Why wont those who messed with the trip bare the cost of the repeat exercise?

Truth be said, parents of Nyali school, Teachers and subordinate staff are tired of Mr. Kombo. Many are wishing for his term to end much earlier than 30th November, 2021 (or 31st December 2021). Already rumors are that the Chairperson, treasurer and the secretary (a renowned lawyer in Mombasa) are working on a formula on how they could extend his term illegally and against the wish of parents. But themselves are in office illegally and worst, parents are ready to stop the move using any legal way. Many don’t believe that his contract would be renewed that’s why they are seeing Mr. Kombo scrambling to get his last rob from Nyali school. Many are disappointed with the way the secretary of the board has failed to guide the board professionally despite being a senior counsel in town.  Parents are even contemplating writing to LSK to complain on his professional conduct and his aiding of unethical and corrupt practices in the school. They are just waiting to see him get involved in extending Mr. Kombo’s contract illegally before legally confronting him through legal institutions. Mr. Kombo has even been boastfully telling the Nyali Staff that he is going nowhere, his contract will be renewed for even 6 years and he would leave the school when he wishes. But many believe that this is just a way to cover his ego as reality is, he is marching towards the exit door.

Whatever happens, end of November/December is closely coming and many parents, teachers and subordinate staff can’t wait to do a party to celebrate the exit of what would be the worst and the most corrupt head teacher in the history of Nyali School.

 


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