Maasai Mara University denies victimising graft whistle-blower

Masai Mara University whistleblower Spencer Sankale

Masai Mara University whistleblower Spencer Sankale during the Wapi Nduru project launch by ICPAK and Amnesty International Kenya on August 5, 2020.

Maasai Mara University has denied victimising the sacked chief finance officer Spencer Sankale Ololchike because of whistleblowing on alleged graft at the institution but accuses him of fraud and pilferage.

The institution says during Mr Sankale’s tenure as the acting finance officer there are questionable withdrawals of money amounting to Sh85 million between January 2015 to June 2016.

“As a result, he has acquired so much wealth whose source is questionable. It is alleged that he owns a restaurant in Narok town, commercial buildings in Narok town, land within and outside Narok, which businesses require a huge amount of capital to start,” said university council chairman Kennedy ole Kerei in response to a case Mr Sankale filed challenging his dismissal.

In the court papers, Dr Kerei also claims that the sacked whistleblower drives fancy cars “yet his earnings from the university cannot support”.

He says the university did not victimise Mr Sankale because of his role in speaking out about the alleged corruption scandal, which made him rise to fame.

The university said in recognition of his role as a whistleblower, the council promoted him from the rank of a senior accountant to that of the acting chief internal auditor on June 29, 2020.

“The elevation was to give him unrestricted access to all information, including confidential information of the university so that he would directly report to the council any anomalies for immediate corrective action in terms of the human resource policy of 2018,” says Dr Kerei.

The new council appointed in March last year following the corruption scandal promoted Mr Sankale. Dr Kerei wants the court to dismiss the petition.