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naksphotopixDAILY NATION By FRANCIS MUREITHI

Tuesday October 31, 2017

Former Chief of Staff at the Nakuru County Government, Raymond Kimutai Komen, has promised to revamp the controversial Sh200 million Nakuru Wi-Fi if he is appointed the ICT County Executive Committee member.

The free Wi-Fi, known as BilaWaya, is active in selected hotspots in Nakuru Town was a project of the presidential digital team in collaboration with the county government.

PASSION

However, there was a huge outcry from the residents who called it a "white elephant" project that gobbled public funds.

"I am not a Messiah but I strongly believe with charisma and drive coupled with passion I have in ICT I will ensure the Wi-Fi is up and running," said Mr Komen.

He spoke at the Nakuru County Assembly on Tuesday during his vetting for the position of County Executive in charge of Education, ICT and e-Government.

Mr Komen described the project under former Governor Kinuthia Mbugua as "a total failure" that has not benefited residents.

"If I am given a chance I will approach service providers and other private-public partners to make sure the project is well distributed and the residents enjoy the fruit of free Wi-Fi," he said.

BURSARY

At the same time he said that he will ensure there is a bursary scheme for Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) learners in the country.

He said many children from poor families are unable to take their children to nursery school due to poverty.

Mr Komen, a close aide of Governor Lee Kinyanjui, said he will ensure the nursery school feeding programme is improved to attract more learners.

Besides the feeding programme, he said he will ensure sufficient funds are allocated to rehabilitate dilapidated infrastructure in ECDE schools.

SACKED

Mr Komen was hard-pressed to explain why he was sacked in 2015 by the former governor, Mr Mbugua, for allegedly absconding duty.

"My sacking was illegal, political, unfair and gross abuse of my constitutional rights and that is why I went to court and I was awarded damages for wrongful dismissal," he said.

Mr Komen denied claims by another petitioner that he used his position and a county letterhead to solicit scholarships for needy students from Menengai Oil Refineries and to gain mileage.

"This [the scholarship project] was my brainchild and I did so in good faith to assist the less fortunate in the society and not for any political or economic gain," he added.

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