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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 21 February 2016

NCIC descends on Maasai Maara University

NCIC descends on Maasai Maara University
Our Reporter
 
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission officers have pitched tent at the Maasai Mara University probing claims of nepotism, tribalism, irregular hiring and firing of staff as well as corruption related activities.
The NCIC officers were acting on a tip-off through an
anonymous letter addressed to it and copied to the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, cabinet secretary ministry of Education, Governor Narok county and area MP Ole Kenta.
Under corruption related activities, the EACC is also said to be investigating the procurement of a car for the VC, Mary Waling’o at a cost of Sh12million but sources say the market value is far below the Sh12million. It is suspected that she uses the car and at the same time withdraws car allowance unlike her deputies who are using their own vehicles after it was agreed that they draw allowances.
Also under investigations is the procurement of the university bus at a cost of Sh11m but which sources say was initially to be purchased at Sh9million. Sources say the procurement of the bus did not follow the right procedure. Already, the university’s tender committee is under pressure to approve procurement of a certain finance system (Enterprise Resource Planning System) at a cost of Sh20million.
The NICIC officers are said to be investigating claims of irregular hiring, promotion and firing of university staff. Of interest is one Mr Omuse who is a computer technician. Sources said in the last two years, Omuse has been promoted two times and is now in grade 12. Those who know him well say that his academic and professional qualifications do not allow him to be in grade 12.
The EACC is also said to be investigating circumstances under which Omuse took Sh990,000 in cash to pay for subscription by university to Africa association of universities and others. This money was allegedly approved by the VC and up to date, this money has never been accounted for.
It is claimed that the VC has gone tribal and creates positions for people from her ethnic community or to people who are loyal to her and who never raises queries on issues and directives and orders by the VC. The NCIC is also said to be investigating claims that most heads, chairmen and directors are appointed on tribal basis  as close to 80 pc are from same ethnic community.
Already, word is out that some of her trusted and loyal lieutenants who have reached retirement age are still being retained. The officers who are said to have reached retirement age but are still in payroll are security officer, human resource officer and registrar academic affairs.
Sources say the VC has been single handedly appointing temporary staff while retrenching casuals who have worked for the university for many years on continuous basis. The VC allegedly employed Prof Oyaro’s wife unprocedurally. Oyaro is the dean of Science.
The EACC, according to well-placed sources, has also been called upon to investigate an allegation that the VC is plotting on how to clear Prof David Serem of a debt of Sh9million from the suspense account. Serem is a former Principal of Maasai Mara University. When the finance officer detected the plot, he objected and was sent on forced leave. It is suspected that the VC cleared Serem during the absence of the finance officer.
On mismanagement of university funds, the letter claims that she has been visiting all over the world and financing Chinese and French to visit Narok to see the so-called botanical garden and in all her visits, there has been no impact or returns  which is a clear case of misuse of university funds.
The letter further claims that the VC goes to Nairobi on Thursdays and Fridays and the trips are fully financed by the university claiming she is on official duties but investigations have revealed that she travels to Nairobi to attend classes. She is currently doing MBA at the University of Nairobi.
It is claimed that the university looses close to Sh100,000 every week through the VC’s office for security purposes. Sources say whenever she travels to Nairobi; she is accompanied by a bodyguard who is paid allowances which are made in cash.
It is alleged that in all her dealings, she does not append her signature on approved documents and only puts initials (VC and the date) and rather than signing and approving the original documents, she does it on photocopies of the same documents.
The letter further alleges that the VC has hired the services of one Makokha who is a former university employee to spy on the university staff and another from Safaricom to tap other staff phones. On political patronage, she is said to have been sending emissaries to William ole Ntimama in an effort to compromise him. Sources say the VC has now employed a close relative to Ntimama in an effort to silence him.
One of the projects under investigations is the Sh15billion hospital. Stakeholders are wondering what happened to the project and if there was money allocated, where did it go? It is imperative to note that no single project has been done at the university since her appointment despite taxpayers’ money channeled to the university for the last two years amounting to Sh300 million for projects. 
The EACC is also said to have been investigating claims that the University Council chairman Joseph Okumu who through the influence of the VC has become an executive chairman. Records indicate that he draws a monthly allowance of close to Sh350,000 per month. The EACC sleuths are said to be pursuing documents which shows that he draws Sh80,000 responsibility allowances instead of Sh25,000.
Sources say Okumu is now performing administrative activities on a daily basis in which he addresses all deans of schools and all heads of departments and also signs letters of appointments to staff. A good example is that he signed for Ogola to act as the dean school of education.
Sources say the VC is manipulating the chairman by all means by approving and giving him allowances and honoraria on a daily basis. The two also possess some issues together without the knowledge of the full council of the university.
Part time lecturers at the Maasai Mara University are also bitterly complaining that they are never paid and are owed hundreds of thousands in unpaid salaries and allowances. 
Also under investigations are circumstances under which the VC brought the Presbyterian University students to graduate at Maasai Mara University during the third graduation ceremony.