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Maasai Mara University heist whistleblower Spencer Sankale sacked

RIFT VALLEY
By Robert Kiplagat | June 19th 2021

Spencer Sankale, the Chief Finance Officer of Maasai Mara University, was formally dismissed on Thursday, June 17, 2021. [Courtesy]

Maasai Mara University's Chief Finance Officer Spencer Sankale Ololchike, famed for whistleblowing on the graft at the institution dubbed the 'Mara Heist', has been sacked.

The university’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Prof. Kitche Magak confirmed to The Standard that a dismissal letter dated June 17, 2021, and addressed to Spencer was authentic. The institution's council Chairman Dr. Kennedy Ole Kerei signed the letter.

"Yes. It is legit (sic),” responded Prof. Magak without further explanation.

Spencer exposed alleged graft by the suspended Maasai Mara University Vice-Chancellor Prof Mary Walingo.

Dr Kerei, in the letter, indicated that Spencer was found by the council to have committed nine offences.

“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,” read the letter seen by The Standard.

The accusations leveled against Spencer include insolence to the employer, libel/defamation, disregard of university standards and procedure.

Other allegations are incitement of staff and the general public against the university, gross insubordination, and failure to act on the university's best interest.

Spencer was among the university staff members who blew the whistle on alleged Sh190million misappropriation of funds by Prof Walingo's administration in 2019 when he featured in Citizen Television’s investigative report.

“Due to the aforementioned, the council resolved to summarily terminate your employment with immediate effect according to Section44 (4), (d) and (g) of employment Act 2007(revised 2012),” read the dismissal letter.

His revelations in the TV expose led to VC Walingo being suspended as investigations into the damning allegations continued. Walingo was in August 2020 charged in a Nakuru court.

Walingo was charged alongside her deputies Simon Kasaine Ole Seno (Administration), John Almadi Obare (Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, Finance), Anaclet Biket Okumu, (Finance) and her driver Noor Hassan Abdi.

It is alleged the five, 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.

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