Maasai Mara Uni. Vice Chancellor, four others to be prosecuted over Ksh 177M graft

Written By: Beth Nyaga

Maasai Mara Uni. Vice Chancellor, four others to be prosecuted over Ksh 177M graft

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has Monday given a go-ahead for the prosecution of Maasai Mara Vice-Chancellor, Professor Prof Mary Walingo for the misappropriation of over Kshs. 177 million belonging to the University.

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Professor Simon Kasaine Ole Seno (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Finance and Planning) Professor John Almadi Obere (Ag Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic student affairs 2016-2019) Anaclet Biket Okumu (Finance officer) and Noor Hassan Abdi (Vice-Chancellors driver) will also be apprehended and arraigned in court to face charges.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji in a statement said he was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to support various charges under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and the Penal Code against the five individuals.

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The DPP said the investigations commenced after allegations that several employees of the university were involved in a systematic misappropriation of funds belonging to the said university.

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“The allegations were that the Vice-Chancellor through the finance officers would give orders to junior officers working in the finance department to write cheques to various banks and present them to the vice chancellor for signature alongside the deputy vice-chancellors or finance officers who were signatories to the University accounts without following the due process and based on fictitious expenditures,” read the statement in part.

Upon conclusion of the investigations, Haji, said that the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) then forwarded the inquiry file on 26th November 2019 with recommendations that several suspects identified be charged with various offenses.

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Haji also said that after the conclusion of a thorough investigation, it was established that in the financial years between 2016- 2019 several cheques were used to irregularly withdraw funds from various Maasai Mara University accounts for personal use amounting to a sum of Ksh.177,007,754.

“…there was no justification for the withdrawal of the funds from the said accounts as there are no supporting documents for the expenditure,” said the DPP in the statement.

The DPP adds that analysis of the evidence obtained indicates that monies withdrawn by authorized finance officers at the University would be irregularly delivered to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mary Walingo through her proxies.

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“Despite the University having a well-developed accounting system known as the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System and proper books of finance, there was a deliberate failure by officers in the University’s finance department to record the subject transactions/cheque withdrawals in the University’s ERP system and books of record in an attempt to hide the particular transactions from the University’s financial records,” notes the DPP.

The DPP has since concluded that it is in the public interest to prosecute the case considering that such infractions are crimes against the public.

The five suspects are to be apprehended and arranged in court to face the appropriate charges against them.

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