The University of Nairobi (UoN) senate on Monday endorsed the decision to rescind Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama’s appointment as the Vice Chancellor.
The senate has on the other hand endorsed Prof Isaac Mbeche’s appointment to the position on an interim basis.
Further, Education CS Prof George Magoha has said the move to overturn Prof Kiama’s appointment was in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive.
The CS also noted that the council, now dissolved, did not consult him when naming the VC.
“The government looks at many other things…The council acted in a manner that does not conform. There is a candidate they recommended and I said am consulting. They went ahead and made the appointment,” he said.
The CS also noted that “somebody somewhere is pulling strings to destroy the university.”
Kiama had his appointment revoked on Friday “until the ongoing consultative process of appointing the substantive vice-chancellor is completed.”
The University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) Nairobi chapter led by secretary general George Omondi has told off Prof Kiama. The members urged the academician against treating the institution like his “private property.”
They also asked the government to appoint an individual that will clean up the mess at the premier learning institution.
“UASU reiterates its support for transparent process devoid of shortcuts, grandstanding and pursuit of individuals as opposed to the larger interests of the institution,” Omondi said.
It is believed the confusion at the varsity is as a result of the president and his deputy William Ruto fighting through proxies over who gains control of the institution.
DP Ruto is apparently interested in controlling the business aspect at the learning institution while the head of state believes that his deputy is trying to control UoN as it will be key before and after the 2022 general elections.
Kahawa Tungu understands that the president has handpicked Prof Bernard Njoroge to lead the insititution.
Meanwhile, Prof Kiama has warned stakeholders from entering into a contract with any other person apart from him, in a move meant to rubbish CS Magoha’s gazette notice.
In a notice published in a local daily on Sunday, Kiama warned that the university will not be liable for such commitments.
“This is to inform all stakeholders and collaborators that any person or institution entering into a contract with any other person other than the legally appointed Vice Chancellor purporting to represent the university does so at their own peril …” said Kiama.
“Any resolution originating from any other university organ which by statute are chaired by the VC or any other person expressly authorized by him in writing similarly will not be binding,” he said.
Kiama was supposed to be installed on Monday, a ceremony that has since been delayed.
In a memo, Prof Ogot Magara, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance Planning and Development), announced the indefinite cancellation of the ceremony.
“The installation ceremony for the Vice Chancellor that was slated for next week has been cancelled following the new development,” she said.