Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Maasai Mara University Prof. Mary Walingo has been returned by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to her position on suspension until a hearing of the anti-corruption case against her till her employment is lawfully terminated.
According to a statement released by PSC on Wednesday, Prof. Walingo must start receiving half of her salary and any related benefits as of the day of her suspension.
Following an appeal filed against the University council on May 20, 2022, PSC issued the orders.
In her appeal, Prof. Walingo claimed that the Maasai Mara University Council lacked the authority to fire her and that the only person with the authority to designate the VC was the Cabinet Secretary (CS).
She argued that the Council should simply have made a recommendation to the Education CS because it did not provide her a fair hearing before deciding to fire her.
The Commission determined on September 6 that the Council had the authority to terminate the VC’s job; however, in Walingo’s case, the termination was not done in a legal manner.
Ambassador Anthony Muchiri, the PSC Chairperson, said that the Commission “allows the appeal and instructs that the appellant be returned back to her work on suspension awaiting the hearing and conclusion of the Anti-Corruption case and or until her contract is legitimately terminated.”
Four other Maasai Mara University officials, including Prof. Walingo, were charged with alleged corruption totaling KSh. 177 million.
The four are former financial officer Anaclet Biket, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Administration Simon Kasaine, former Acting DVC for Finance John Almadi, and her driver Noor Hassan Abdi.
The University council placed Prof. Walingo on involuntary leave in September 2019. She was placed on administrative leave on October 23, 2020, pending the conclusion of the lawsuit against her before the Nakuru Law Courts.
Ten counts against the defendant—including conspiracy to conduct corruption offenses, intentional disregard of the law governing the management of public funds, abuse of office, fraudulent false accounting, and theft by person—were all flatly denied by the defendant.
According to court documents, between January 24 and July 19, 2019, the five allegedly planned to steal Ksh. 177,007,754 in public funds from the University.
She was replaced in an acting capacity by Prof. Kitche Magak, the institution’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who was later temporarily replaced by Joseph Chacha in January 2022.