Citizen TV made waves on Sunday, Sept. 2, after it exposed corruption on a grand scale at the Maasai Mara University in Narok and revealing four cunning ways the institution's vice-chancellor embezzled public funds to the tune of Ksh190 million.
In the investigative feature compiled by journalists, Waihiga Mwaura and Asha Mwilu, the VC, Professor Mary Walingo, is portrayed as the perpetrator of the entire operation.
According to the exposé, the suspects used coded language to make the swindle in which the parties were referred to as cows and money as grass. To specify the value, a bundle of grass represented Ksh 100,000.
There was an instance in which the whistleblower, Spencer Sankale, received an instruction demanding two bundles and a half of grass which represented Ksh 250,000.
“Hata hii ng’ombe ingine ilisema, inataka nyasi. Hii ng’ombe yetu nono hii…Nyasi ngapi unaweza pata…kiasi ngapi? Unaweza pata bundle mbili na nusu? (Even this other cow wants grass. Our fat cow...how much grass can you get? Can you get two and a half bundles?” Walingo's driver, Noor Abdi, is heard inquiring in an audio recording.
The station also exposed a cunning way Prof Walingo used to avoid getting caught by the Central Bank of Kenya when withdrawals large amounts.
For bank transactions above Ksh1 million, Professor Walingo’s team would draft split cheques, each worth less than a million shillings.
To avoid any delays, it was also disclosed that Noor would accompany the university cashiers and collect the money immediately after withdrawal. In some instances, the driver carried sacks to stuff the money.
The large withdrawals would, however, require an explanation of its intended use. But Ms Walingo's supposed accomplices were well prepared.
Every time she needed money, her team would come up with convenient explanations such as that the money was needed to pay salaries.
Spencer says that he started keeping records from 2016 after he became fed up with rampant corruption at the institution.
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