Spencer Sankale now former chief accountant of Maasai Mara University is known for his boldness in exposing his bosses for corruption and misuse of the varsity funds. However, Sankale who came into limelight after being featured by Citizen TV’s investigative piece Mara Heist back in 2019, is a sad man for doing the right thing.
Two years later the university has turned the tables against him causing the whistle blower to lose his job. The varsity disciplinary board found the corruption hero unfit to continue serving in his capacity due to actions of gross- misconduct. and nine other allegations levelled against him.
The decision to summarily terminate Spencer’s employment was reached after a series of hearings by the University Council, in which Spencer was called to defend himself. The nine offences the council cited to justify Spencer’s dismissal included: ‘Sustained insolence to the employer, cyberbullying, malicious representation, libel, defamation and falsely maligning the image and reputation of the University.’
Spencer was among university staff members who blew the whistle on an alleged Ksh190 million misappropriation of funds by the then Vice Chancellor Prof Mary Walingo. Prof Walingo was granted Ksh.10 million cash bail by the court in August last year. The case was to be further heard on September, 2020.
‘‘Anyone who is willing to tackle corruption must be willing to go all the way, there are No shortcuts.”
Oby Ezekwesili-Transparency International
The war against corruption will not succeed if whistle-blowers are intimidated and their voices shut for calling on anti-graft agencies to investigate the ills in their organizations. Unless whistle-blowers ring a bell, corruption scandals will continue to thrive in government and other institutions. It takes bold men and women like Sankale to resist the intricate graft webs and choose the highway of integrity. By discouraging such people, hunting down graft perpetrators will be a task for the responsible agencies. On the other hand, it will shy away whistle-blowers to come forwards and report graft scandals.
Sankale’s unfortunate story is one of an unsung hero, who instead of being celebrated, is being victimized for doing the right thing. What is more sad is seeing a society that celebrates and rewards those on the wrong and victimizes the ones doing the right thing.
All Kenyans, not just anti-corruption officials, should step up and protect whistle-blowers because without them the war on corruption is likely to retrogress which will be a negative outcome for the country.