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Mara heist whistleblower appointed to key government position [Details]

Mara Heist whistleblower Spencer Sankale is among the 12 individuals who were appointed by Chief Justice Martha Koome

Mara Heist whistleblower Spencer Sankale

Chief Justice Martha Koome, in her role as chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), has appointed Spencer Ololchike Sankale, the whistleblower in the Mara Heist scandal, as a member of the Tax Appeals Tribunal.

This appointment, along with 11 others, was announced through a gazette notice dated May 19.

The members' three-year term began on May 10, 2023, joining the existing team of ten members whose terms commenced in June 2022.

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Spencer Ololchike Sankale came into the public eye after exposing an alleged financial scandal at Maasai Mara University, where he served as the Chief Finance Officer.

As a result of his revelations, Vice-Chancellor Prof Mary Walingo was implicated in a corruption scandal worth Sh177 million. Sankale's actions led to his termination from the university on June 19, 2021.

However, the Employment and Labour Relations Court later reinstated Prof Mary Walingo on January 19, 2023, following a decision by the Public Service Commission in September 2022, which overruled the university's termination of her employment.

The court, presided over by Justice Hellen Wasilwa, ordered the university to comply with the commission's decision.

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During his time at Maasai Mara University, Sankale exposed the alleged graft through a Citizen TV exposé named the Mara Heist.

This revelation resulted in his dismissal from the university by the council, accusing him of nine offenses related to gross misconduct.

The accusations included incitement of staff and the public against the university, gross insubordination, failure to act in the best interest of the university, defamation, and disregard for university standards and procedures.

Despite the challenges he faced as a result of his whistleblowing, Sankale's appointment to the Tax Appeals Tribunal demonstrates a recognition of his courage and integrity in exposing corruption.

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The Tax Appeals Tribunal is an important body responsible for resolving tax disputes, and Sankale's expertise and experience will contribute to its effective functioning.

As Sankale begins his term at the Tax Appeals Tribunal, he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and firsthand experience in uncovering financial misconduct.

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