PSC order reinstatement of Maasai Mara University Vice-Chancellor

Maasai Mara University. [Robert Kiplagat, Standard]

The Public Service Commission has ordered the reinstatement of suspended Maasai Mara University Vice-Chancellor Prof  Mary Walingo.

PSC issued the orders following an appeal Walingo had filed against the university council on May 20, 2022.

Walingo in her appeal said Maasai Mara University Council lacked the capacity to terminate her employment.

The power to terminate a Vice-Chancellor she said lies with the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Education. The Council she said only ought to have submitted a recommendation to the Cabinet Secretary.

She said the institution being a Public University, the Cabinet Secretary has been conferred with the power to make an appointment of the Vice Chancellor and not in the University Council.

The Council she said did not accord her a fair hearing before it reached the decision to terminate her employment.

The commission on September 6, decision said the council has power to terminate the employment of the VC, however, in Walingo's case the termination was not done lawfully.

"Consequently the commission allows the appeal and directs that the appellant be reinstated back to her employment on suspension pending the hearing and determination of the Anti-Corruption case and or until her contract is lawfully terminated," stated Ambassador Anthony Muchiri, Chairperson PSC

PSC further ordered that Walingo be paid half salary and attendant allowances pursuant to Section 62 of the Anti-Corruption and Economics Crimes Act if the same has not been paid from the date of suspension.

Walingo is among top Maasai Mara University officials implicated in an alleged Sh177 million graft.

She was in September 2019 sent on compulsory leave by the university council.  On October 23, 2020 she was suspended pending hearing and determination of the criminal matter against her before Nakuru Law Courts.

Walingo, and four others were in August 2020 charged in a Nakuru Court. They denied ten charges ranging from conspiracy to commit corruption offences, willfully failure to comply with the law relating to management of public funds, abuse of office, fraudulent false accounting and stealing by person.

According to the charges, the five allegedly between January 24 and July 19, 2019 at Maasai Mara University in Narok conspired to misappropriate public funds amounting to Sh177,007,754 from the institution.

She was charged alongside former  Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration Simon Kasaine, former Acting DVC Finance John Almadi, former finance officer Anaclet Biket and her driver Noor Hassan Abdi.

The institution's Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs Prof Kitche Magak was appointed to the position in an acting capacity.

In January this year Magak was sacked and was replaced by Prof Joseph Chacha, acting.