Embakasi East Member of Parliament (MP) Babu Owino has condemned delays by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to release funds to both new and continuing students in institutions of higher learning.
In a video shared by the MP via his official X account on Friday, the lawmaker said HELB delays are not an option for comrades in these hard economic times.
While calling out university student leaders, he argued this was the moment for them to either tender their resignation letters or lead by calling for peaceful demonstrations.
He argued that their silence was an act of betrayal to the comrades who elected them.
"HELB must never delay! Student leaders you are sleeping, you are wasting constituents who elected you instead of representing them you are misrepresenting them. You must wake up, come out and call for demos. Let HELB not delay even for one minute," Babu Owino stated.
"HELB must never be delayed, university fees must never be increased. During my time town would be upside down. You must organise for demo as soon as possible. Never destroy school or public property just hold peaceful demos and let it be on a daily basis. You either resign or hold demos do not go the dialogue way. It's either the way of the comrades or the highway!"
Further, the MP called on National Treasury & Economic Planning Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u to move with speed and release the money to comrades in various universities.
"This money is very little, never sufficient and furthermore you are delaying it. Comrades are angry and hungry. Students cannot go to class, pay varsity fees, buy food, or afford accommodation and transport because there is no money," he said.
The CS TREASURY together with HELB must move with Speed,release money to University Students who are sick and tired of sleeping Hungry.Student leaders should stop 🛑 sleeping on duty. pic.twitter.com/iLIjUmbqcD— Babu Owino (@HEBabuOwino) September 29, 2023
In early September, HELB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Charles Ringera assured students the Ministry of Education is following up on the disbursement and urged new-year students to continue with the process of applying for funding, which will close on October 7.
“We are still following up with the Ministry, which is also following up with the Treasury for release of funds and as of now we have not released any money to continuing students or the ones coming in for the first time,” Ringera noted.