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High Court Denies Second Plea to Suspend Nairobi County’s “Dishi na County” School Feeding Program

The High Court has rejected a second request to halt Nairobi County’s school feeding initiative known as “Dishi na County.” Justice Chacha Mwita declined a plea from a lobby group to suspend the Sh1.2 billion program, which could have deprived over 250,000 public primary school learners of daily meals until his judgment is delivered in June.

Justice Mwita emphasized that suspending the program at this stage would not be in the best interest of the children currently benefiting from it.

The petitioner, Tunza Mtoto Coalition Executive Director Janet Ouko, representing privately owned informal schools, sought to suspend the program pending the court’s verdict.

Ouko requested conservatory orders to halt the program and the allocation of funds towards it.

Governor Johnson Sakaja strongly opposed the application, asserting that the welfare of the children benefiting from the program should take precedence.

He argued that it would be appropriate to await the court’s findings on whether the project was launched legally.

The petitioner argued that the project was unconstitutional and illegal, alleging that Sakaja and the Nairobi City County launched it without proper public participation.

She contended that the feeding program would cost taxpayers billions if allowed to continue and perpetuated inequality by neglecting learners in non-formal schools.

Sakaja countered these claims, stating that all legal procedures were followed before the project’s official launch.

He denied allegations of usurping national government mandates and emphasized the cooperation between the national and county governments in implementing the program.

The governor highlighted the extensive efforts made to ensure public participation in decision-making regarding the feeding program.

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He clarified that an Inter-Governmental Partnership Agreement was duly executed, emphasizing the government’s commitment to providing daily nutritious meals to all children in public primary schools and early childhood development centers.

Sakaja concluded by reaffirming his administration’s dedication to the vision of ensuring every child’s access to a nutritionally balanced meal in public schools, underscoring the importance of the feeding program in achieving this goal.

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