The High Court in Nairobi has temporarily halted a recent government directive for parents to pay school fees for their children through the eCitizen platform.
A memo to all national school principals dated January 31, 2024, and signed by PS Kipsang directed institution heads to share school bank account details with the office of the State Department’s Director General by Tuesday, February 6, 2024.
The move according to the PS, was part of the government’s efforts to onboard all government services onto the e-Citizen platform to enhance service delivery.
Milimani Law Courts Judge Chacha Mwita issued the order on Wednesday following a petition filed by Nakuru doctor Magare Gikenyi on Tuesday. Justice Mwita hence suspended the circular by Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang pending further directions to be issued in the case on February 13, 2024.
“An interim conservatory order is herby issued suspending the Circular or letter by the Principal Secretary (Belio R Kipsang), Ministry of Education dated 31st January 2024, requiring parents/guardians and or students to pay fees and or any other levies for all government learning institutions through e-citizen platform or any other digital platform(s) until 13th February 2024, when the court will issue further directions in this petition,” the judge said in his ruling.
Last year, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u announced that that all government services would be onboarded on the eCitizen platform and every service will have access fees effective December 14, 2023.
President Ruto has also maintained that the government “will not allow corruption cartels to derail digitization of government services”.
The President who spoke in Japan where he is on a three-day State Visit said the government is committed to ensuring the transition to a digital payment system is complete to stop corruption and theft of government resources. Ruto’s remarks were made on the same day Judge Chacha Mwita issued orders suspending the circular by Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang requiring parents to pay fees via eCitizen.
Ruto said the new policy that requires school fees to be paid through the platform will eliminate illegal levies charged by some schools.
“The cash payments system is slippery and often an avenue for corruption. Technology will help us eliminate this,” he said.