USIU- Africa Vice Chancellor (VC) Paul Zeleza is on the spot for continued retrenchment of staff despite court order stopping the exercise.
In 2020, the varsity was dragged to court after it tried to cut lecturers’ pay and terminate their services.
Some 54 lecturers led by Prof Maina Muchara who is the Faculty Council chair, moved to court seeking to suspend the move and bar the institution from terminating their services or interfering with their terms of employment, pending the determination of the case.
In his ruling, Justice Onesmus Makau of the Employment and Labour Relations court stopped the institution from effecting the pay cuts as contained in a letter sent to the lecturers on August 31.
In spite of the court order, the institution of higher learning in January this year fired 59 members.
It is also said that 40 others were sent packing in 2020.
In an internal statement sent to staff, USIU cited the continued decline in enrolment of students as reason for the mass layoffs.
But according to those privy to the details, the VC who is set to leave the private institution in November for “greener pastures” is retrenching staff for his selfish reasons.
VC Zeleza is apparently seeking to leave with a hefty bonus even as the institution goes through financial challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Faculty Council which consists of 81 members in minutes dated April 21, passed a Vote of No Confidence in the Management Board.
The board is made up of VC Zeleza, Prof Munyae Mulinge, Mrs Helen Ombima, Dr Judith Obura, Ms Night Nzovu, Dr Paul Okanda, Eng Paul Warui and Mr Edgar Igamba.
The FC cited financial challenges and demoralisation of staff as some of the reasons for the Vote of no Confidence.
For instance, FC noted that while the pandemic has taken a toll on the institution especially after the government closed learning institutions, USIU- Africa’s financial problems started earlier.
In the 2018/19 Academic year, the FC stated, the university’s expenditure exceeded revenue by 10 percent. This, they attributed to the phenomenal growth of expansive bureaucracy witnessed since 2016.
The university apparently moved from making Sh250 million per year to the negative.
To address this particular problem, the FC wants a financial audit carried out and action taken against those found culpable.
The council also want the DVC-ASA appointment of Dawn Dekle receded.
In minutes seen by Kahawa Tungu, the FC says they were not involved in the hiring of Dekle who could in the interim hold the VC post.
Dekle, they said lacks institutional memory hence she does not understand the challenges facing the varsity.
They also noted that her appointment was flawed as she was not among the three candidates interviewed for the post. She was merely a suggestion, the council said.
The university has been experiencing a decline in enrolment for three years now hence an estimated annual deficit of Sh313 million.