Kenya

EACC goes after Moi University over alleged ghost workers, embezzlement

EACC goes after Moi University over alleged ghost workers, embezzlement

The entrance to Moi University Eldoret West Campus.

Photo credit: File | Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has launched an investigation into allegations of embezzlement and presence of ghost workers at Moi University.

In a letter dated September 7 addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Isaac Kosgei, the anti-graft watchdog has requested the management to provide it with original documents detailing all of the varsity's teaching and non-teaching staff as from July 1, 2018 to date.

“Pursuant to its constitutional and statuary mandate, the Commission, through its North Rift regional office, is conducting investigations into embezzlement of funds in the office of the Vice Chancellor,” reads the EACC letter seen by Nation.

The anti-graft body says it has received a tip-off alleging that the institution of higher learning has a bloated payroll with most employees being ghost workers.

“You are required to provide original documents supporting the payments of the salary and allowances for all the staff as from July, 1, 2018 to date including the approved budget by the (Education) ministry,” the letter further reads.

On Thursday, Mr Japheth Baithalu, the EACC’s North Rift regional boss confirmed to the Nation that the agency had launched probe into claims of mismanagement.

“It is true that we have initiated to determine the veracity of the allegations made. These are still allegations and we have requested the university to furnish us with necessary documents on the same to facilitate investigations,” Mr Baithalu said.

But the VC, Professor Isaac Kosgey, has refuted corruption claims by EACC, saying he only took over the helm three years ago.

"Moi University is doing very well. The only thing that is there is that we are dealing with a lot of historical issues among other challenges that affect universities across the country. There isn’t anything of great concern...what I know all is well at the university,” he said.

He invited the EACC and other stakeholders to visit the institution and assess its development record.

“All stakeholders are invited...to make informed opinions instead of relying on hearsay,” he said.

Last week, the university’s academic staff, through the Moi University UASU chapter, raised alarm over alleged delays in the remittances from their employer to financial institutions in the past two years, reportedly leading to most of them being black-listed by banks.

The dons, who threatened to down their tools, further complained about key managers doing their jobs while in an acting capacity.

“Most of those in the management are in acting roles such as the finance officer and cannot make crucial decisions. We want to appeal to all stakeholders like ministry to intervene so that they can have them confirmed to the positions to boost delivery of services,” added the union officials.

Last month, Moi University admitted that it is in a financial hole like most public varsities, but indicated that it was working on a number of initiatives to improve its cash flow. These include scaling down its satellite campuses and venturing into income generating activities such as apple farming.