LETTER TO EDITOR

SAMSON NYASIMI: Reinstate Sankale, disband Maasai Mara University council or admit graft has won

Sankale's case gives the President an opportunity to reiterate his commitment in ending corruption

In Summary

• Spencer Sankale, while working in the Maasai Mara University as an internal auditor, noticed some unethical financial reporting instances. 

• In his wisdom, he involved the media, particularly Citizen TV and the employer has rewarded him with a summary dismissal

Chairman FCPA, George Mokua, CEO ICPAK, CPA Edwin Makori, CPA, Spencer Sankale and Amnesty International Kenya chairperson Reen Ngamau, June 22, 2021
Chairman FCPA, George Mokua, CEO ICPAK, CPA Edwin Makori, CPA, Spencer Sankale and Amnesty International Kenya chairperson Reen Ngamau, June 22, 2021
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

In his second term, President Uhuru Kenyatta promised Kenyans that he will do everything possible to end corruption and looting of public resources by those entrusted to their custody. 

This commitment inspired many Kenyans to be involved in the fight against corruption. Some risked themselves in exposing how corrupt public officials steal public money.

It is reported that Spencer Sankale, while working in the Maasai Mara University as an internal auditor, noticed some unethical financial reporting instances. In his wisdom, he involved the media, particularly Citizen TV, which carried out an investigative documentary that exposed the rot in public service financial management. 

However, his employer was not amused and has since sacked him. The employer accuses him of insolence, gross insubordination, misrepresentation, libel and defamation among other accusations. While any sincere employer would have hailed him for his professional conduct, honest and integrity, Maasai Mara University has instead rewarded him with a summary dismissal.

What is happening to Sankale is just but an iceberg of what honest workers are facing in private and public offices. His heart-breaking case shows how corruption is winning.

Kenyans of goodwill and the world can see how the Mara heist whistle-blower is being treated. It is now two years since the heist was reported, but nothing has been done to the alleged beneficiaries.

If this is not indolence on the relevant agencies, then our devotion in the fight against corruption is wanting. His case raises basic questions on the fight against corruption. Who oversees the universities’ financial management? Do the witness or whistle-blower protection laws still exist? How long should investigations into a suspected and reported corruption case take? Are universities autonomous to a point where government agencies cannot question their actions? 

It is disappointing to note that the government mandated agencies to protect whistle-blowers in the fight against corruption are silent as Sankale is humiliated. 

To show that his government is keen on the fight against corruption, the President should not only order the Ministry of Education to disband the said university’s council but also direct the reinstatement of Sankale. If Mara heist wins against Sankale, it will set a precedent where impunity in corruption thrived. It will taint Uhuru's legacy as a President who promised to fight corruption but failed to deliver. 

Sankale's case gives the President an opportunity to reiterate his commitment in ending corruption. Disbanding the university council will be just but a step in the right direction. It will also send a warning to other public service officials who are abetting corruption. 

It will also encourage more Sankales to expose the rot in the public governance. That is why it is prudent to reinstate Sankale and disband the Council. Failure to reprimand the suspects will be an admission that corruption with impunity has won. 

Samson Nyasimi