A deal revolving around the sale of a Mt Kenya university branch, by its founder Simon Gicharu, has been exposed after it led to a loss of Ksh600 million taxpayers’ money.
The businessman, who enjoyed trappings of power in the former government of retired President Uhuru Kenyatta pocketed Ksh 1.2 billion in a sale deal of his satellite campus, MKU Turkana county branch to a government university in exchange for kickbacks.
Recently, a gazette notice detailed how Gicharu through his proxies in the Ministry of Education and Commission for University Education, the higher education regulator doubled the sale of the satellite campus and eventually sold it to Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology for Sh 1.2 billion instead of Sh 600 million.
‘’The commission commenced investigations following a complaint that Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology had purchased the Mount Kenya University Turkana campus at an exorbitant price of Ksh 1.2 billion yet the campus was valued at Ksh 600 million,’’ the Kenya government gazette notice reads in part.
The government in its own admission admits that the procurement procedure was not followed opening the lid on how Gicharu, together with his operatives, benefited from stealing from taxpayers’ coffers and walked scot-free.
The fraudulent sale of Mount Kenya University Turkana campus was exposed by the deputy Vice-chancellor who accused the then vice-chancellor Prof.Fredrick Otieno of working with Gicharu and government operatives to successfully execute how to steal on the government in a campus that is now a shell leaving the university with multiple financial debts that have now pushed Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology to imminent closure.
To cover, their fraudulent deal, Prof Otieno would later die in a mysterious way leaving the government exposed on who to arraign in court with Gicharu using his networks to cover the money trail yet he was the recipient of the fraudulent sale proceedings and was never charged in court.
‘’Investigations revealed that procurement procedure was not followed. However, the person responsible for ensuring adherence was the accounting officer who was the vice-chancellor at the time Prof Fredrick Otieno who is deceased,’’ the gazette notice reads.‘’
That the vice-chancellor who would have been culpable for failing to adhere to the procurement law and regulations is deceased,’’ the gazette notice reads further.
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