University disputes reinstated VC's Sh81 million claim in salaries, allowances

Maasai Mara University Vice Chancellor Mary Walingo during an interview with The Standard during the African Women Vice Chancellors Forum in Nairobi on Sunday, October 21 2018. [File, Standard]

Maasai Mara University has disputed a claim of over Sh81 million by its reinstated VC Mary Walingo in salaries and allowances.

Lawyer Kahiga Waitindi told Justice Hellen Wasilwa that Prof Walingo’s claim of Sh81, 190, 248 is exaggerated.

Waitindi made the submission in a case where Walingo wants the previous nine university council members to be found guilty of contempt of court and jailed for delaying her reinstatement and salary payments.

Waitindi told the court the money quoted by the VC was unrealistic and the court should dismiss the claim.

“The university is still computing and reconciling what they think the VC is truly owed but the money owed to her is nowhere near what she claims before the court,” said Waitindi.

According to Waitindi, the university is not in a position to compute and pay Walingo in the absence of the university council after the term of the previous one ended early this year.

He said the institution’s management will liaise with the Ministry of Education for the appointment of new council members, to enable the computation and payment of what is owed to the VC.

“The university has requested a meeting with the ministry to resolve all matters. In the meantime, the VC has been reinstated on half salary which she earns every month,” he said.

Waitindi said unless the ministry acts, the university’s hands will remain tied and Walingo’s dues will remain pending.

Walingo claims she is owed over Sh81 million in unpaid salaries, allowances, and accrued interest. She wants the court to enter a judgment ordering the university to pay her the amount.

Her lawyer Hosea Manwa said the VC is owed Sh81 million which includes Sh63, 659, 919 in half salaries. The money accrued between May 2020 and December 2022, according to the lawyer.

“We served the university with our computation for the money owed to the VC. So far, the university has not contested it,” says Manwa.

He further stated that despite her reinstatement on September 6, 2022, following a decision by the Public Service Board (PSB), the university has made no efforts to pay her dues.

"The university also delayed the reinstatement until the court forced it on February 20, 2023," he states.

According to Manwa, following the delay, Walingo has also instituted a contempt case against the university

Walingo was interdicted on May 12, 2020, and suspended on August 28, 2020, after she was charged in a Sh177 million corruption case.

She was later dismissed from work by the council on January 31, 2022.

The VC says although she was to be paid half her salary, the university stopped paying her after her interdiction.

Apart from the salaries, the VC is also demanding Sh10,978,000 in allowances listed as ‘other allowances’.

PSB reinstated Walingo but she remains suspended and on half salary until her corruption case is concluded.

The board ordered the university to pay Walingo half salary and attendant allowances from January 31, 2020, the date of her suspension.

The court will rule on the contempt of court case on September 28.