Just hours after Prof Stephen Kiama Gitahi dismissed a gazette notice by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha revoking his appointment as the University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, he has now warned stakeholders from entering into a contract with any other person apart from him.
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 authorised by him in writing similarly will not be binding,” he said.
The developments have further thrown the University into confusion.
In a statement on Saturday, Kiama said his appointment as VC was lawful and valid adding that he’ll not leave office.
“For avoidance of doubt, my appointment as the lawfully and validly appointed VC of UoN still subsists. As such I continue in diligent service as your Vice Chancellor and remain available to you all for guidance and direction,” he said in the statement.
He called on the university fraternity to remain calm in the face of the ouster developments that he termed as “disturbing” news.
Kiama’s installation that was scheduled for Monday, January 20 was cancelled following the declaration by Magoha.
“The installation ceremony for the Vice Chancellor that was slated for next week has been cancelled following the new development,” Prof Ogot Magara, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance Planning and Development), said in a statement.
During his announcement yesterday, Prof Magoha also dissolved Prof Julia Ojiambo-led council that appointed Prof Kiama as the Vice Chancellor.
He directed that Prof Kiama continue dispensing his duties as deputy VC, Human Resource and Administration.
He appointed Deputy VC (Finance, Planning and Development) Prof Isaac Mbeche to act as the new VC until the process of appointing a substantive VC is completed.
Prof Mbeche, in the capacity of Acting Vice Chancellor, released a statement thereafter, dismissing Prof Kiama’s declaration that he will not leave office.
Mbeche stated that going forward all “all communication from the Vice Chancellor will come from him”.
The dramatic turn of events in the overturning of Kiama’s appointment is said to be political with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto locking horns.
Prof Kiama, whose appointment was announced early this year, was among eight candidates interviewed by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
They included; Prof Benard Kimani Njoroge, Prof Solomon Igosangwa Shibairo, Prof Patricia Kameri Mbote, Prof Madara Ogot, Prof Kareithi Ruth Wanjiru Nduati, Prof Stephen Kiama Gitahi, Prof Elijah Omwenga and Prof Mbeche.