Remember the ‘Mara Heist’ that unearthed the misappropriation of public funds amounting to KSh190,000,000 from Maasai Mara University? The famous whistleblower, Chief Finance Officer Spencer Sankale Ololchike has reportedly been sacked.
The university’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kitche Magak has confirmed that a dismissal letter dated June 17, 2021, and addressed to Spencer is legit. The letter has been signed by the university’s council Chairperson Dr. Kennedy Ole Kerei.
According to the letter seen by TV47 Digital, Spencer is been accused of being disrespectful to the employer, libel/defamation, and disregard of university standards and procedure.
“Following your appearance before the council on September 1, 2020, and a follow-up on date 27, same month, the council meeting held [on] June 16, 2021, found you with gross misconduct,” reads the letter in part.
Further, the institution’s council claims that Spencer incited the staff and general public against the university, gross insubordination, and failure to act on the university’s best interest.
Spencer, and other university staff members, blew the whistle on alleged corruption by suspended Vice Chancellor Prof Mary Walingo’s administration in 2019.
DPP Noordin Haji on August 24, 2020, gave a go-ahead for the prosecution and charging in a court of Prof Walingo and four other officials of the institution who allegedly gave orders to junior officers working at the finance department to write cheques to various banks without following due process and based on fictitious expenditures.
“Upon preliminary review of the file, I directed, on the 14th January 2020 that the breaches of the law disclosed, and their consequences were serious and merited a detailed and thorough investigation,” noted DPP Noordin Haji.
The findings of the investigations
After the investigations, the DPP then reviewed the evidence against the suspects and established that;
1. In financial year 2016-2019 several cheques were used to irregularly withdraw funds from various Maasai Mara University accounts for personal use amounting to a sum of Sh177,007,754.
2. That there was no justification for the withdrawal of the said funds. There were no supporting documents.
3. Analysis shows that monies withdrawn by authorised finance officers at the university would be irregularly delivered to the VC Mary Walingo.
4. There was deliberate failure by the officers in the institution’s finance department to record the subject transactions/cheque withdrawals despite existence of a well-developed accounting system.
“I am, therefore, satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to support various charges under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and the Penal Code,” added DPP Haji.
The suspects who were then charged include;
1. Prof. Mary Walingo, Vice-Chancellor.
2. Prof. Simon Kasaine Ole Seno, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, Finance, and Planning
3.Prof. John Almadi Obere, Ag. Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs between 2016-2019.
4. Anaclet Biket Okumu, Finance Officer.
5. Noor Hassan Abdi, the Vice Chancellor’s driver.