Haji orders for prosecution of Mara varsity VC Walingo

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 00:00 |
Maasai Mara University vice-chancellor Prof Mary Walingo.

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji has ordered the arrest and prosecution of Maasai Mara University vice-chancellor Prof Mary Walingo and four others over the loss of Sh177 million.

Walingo according to the DPP will be charged alongside Prof Simon Kasaine ole Seno (deputy vice chancellor, finance), Prof John Almadi Obere (acting deputy VC Academic and Student Affairs between 2016 and 2019), Anaclet Biket Okumu (finance officer) and Noor Hassan Abdi (the vice chancellor’s driver).

The five are set to face various charges under the Anti- Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and the Penal Code.

In a statement released on Monday evening, Haji claimed that analysis of evidence obtained indicated that monies withdrawn by finance officers at the university was irregularly delivered to Walingo through her proxies.

“I therefore direct the above suspects be apprehended and arraigned in court to face the appropriate charges against them, “ said Haji.

In the statement, Haji said investigations had established that in the financial years 2016- 2019 several cheques were used to irregularly withdraw funds from various Maasai Mara University accounts for personal use.

Withdrawal of funds

According to him, there was no justification for the withdrawal of the funds from the said accounts as there were no supporting documents for the expenditure.

“Therefore in applying the evidential test, I have considered all the evidence and information availed to my office and concluded that it is in the public interest to prosecute this case, considering that such infractions are crimes against the public, the decision to prosecute is in line with safe guarding the public good,” he added.

He further regretted that 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 transaction/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.

“I also noted (that) there were various gaps and deficiencies in the investigations that needed to be addressed by way of further investigations and set up a team of prosecutors to guide the investigations to ensure that all the gaps have been adequately addressed,” he added.

The investigations come after a year after a local television aired an investigative piece dubbed the ‘Mara Heist’ that exposed the grand theft of funds at the university.

The scandal showed how top officials including Walingo pocketed money unlawfully as for the longest time, the university had not been subjected to auditing.

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