On October 3, 2018, Dr Rosa Ko, a senior lecturer in political science within Catholic University of East Africa’s (CUEA) Social Sciences Department was allegedly assaulted by the acting dean of students Mr Samuel Wakanyua.
This opened the lid covering the rot in the university that is supposed to be an emblem of spiritual guide.
After the assault, Dr Ko reported the incident to the Vice Chancellor Prof Stephen Mbugua who urged her to settle the matter internally.
However, Dr Ko doubted the integrity of internal investigation, hence stressed on pursuing criminal investigations against Mr Wakanyua.
She therefore reported the matter at Hardy Police Station. At the same time, media outlets got wind of the matter and exposed it to the public, forcing the university to issue a statement saying that they had commenced internal investigation.
At last, there was light at the end of the tunnel when Dr Ko was called to record her statement with internal investigators. However, when she appeared before the team, all hope was gone as it emerged that all investigators were people close to Mr Wakanyua.
This forced Dr Ko to proceed with the police case, that would mature to a court case. Wakanyua was given bail in the case, even as police officers conducted investigations.
Wakanyua’s first bail bond expired but Hardy Police Station extended it after receiving a letter supposedly signed by CUEA’s DVC of Administration Stephen Ngari. The letter alleged that Wakanyua is instrumental to CUEA’s graduation ceremony and that the university expected Wakanyua and Dr Ko to settle outside court.
However, CUEA doesn’t have a DVC of Administration and Stephen Ngari is presumably the VC since the name is identical. So it’s possible the VC posed as DVC of Administration to extend Wakanyua’s bail.
“From the very beginning, CUEA sided with the assaulter to tamper with the case in his favour,” says a source from the university.
On October 26, 2018, Wakanyua skipped plea hearing at Kibera Court. His lawyer claimed that he was in Nyeri to handle a land dispute. The judge extended the hearing date to October 31, 2018.
On October 30, it is alleged that Dr Ko received around 30 phone calls from CUEA asking her to come to campus to read the results of the internal investigation. Later she would learn that the VC had pressured the internal investigation committee to force her to accept Wakanyua’s apology and drop the case which she refused. When Dr Ko’s lawyer asked for the results of the investigation, they refused to convey them.
On the material day for taking plea at Kibera Law Courts, Wakanyua failed to appear until the judge threatened to issue an arrest warrant. He appeared and pleaded not guilty after he and his lawyer gave conflicting accounts about his visit to Nyeri.
The judge issued bail under the condition that Wakanyua, or his agents, do not tamper with evidence or witnesses on CUEA’s campus.
In a Judicial Review Application hearing at Milimani Courts which was filed by Wakaynua’s lawyer, he alleged that Dr Ko made up the assault in order to compete with Wakanyua for the position of Dean of Students. This is despite there being no record showing that she ever applied for the position.
“She even declined a verbal offer made in July 2018 to assume the position, which was made by the then Dean of Students, Dr George Ndemo,” says a close friend of Dr Ko.
On January 7, Dr Ko received a Show Cause Notice from CUEA indicating they want to fire her for speaking to the media. However, On January 18, Dr Ko submitted her resignation letter with a three-month notice “due to ongoing victimization”.
Dr Ko has since learnt that the University intends to end her employment before the end of the three-month notice. Hearing of her case is set for February 14.
One thing led to the other, with details emerging of a big lie in Mr Wakanyua. Despite being listed as a senior lecturer at CUEA’s website, the deputy director confirmed that Wakanyua was an ordinary lecturer who was never promoted. As if that is not enough, Kahawa Tungu learnt that he did not hold a PhD.
Sources within the university indicate that Mr Wakanyua’s mistreatment on women lecturers has lasted for over five years, as Dr Ko is not the first one.
As a result, he is said to have engineered the exit of four female lecturers who had PhD qualifications within the last two years.
With other administrators in the university, they have ensured women hold very few positions of power. Out of 18 officials, only three are women while the rest are men.
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