The closure of Kenyatta University besides being linked to the lecturers’ strike after students went on rampage and razed down a building has also something to do with who will be the institution’s next substantive vice-chancellor after the exit of the current Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda.
The university advertised the position of the VC and several applications have so far been received. Impeccable sources with the institution say the current university council is uncomfortable with acting VC Paul Wainaina.
Council members opposed to the acting VC are Nandi Mugambi, Margret Njoroge and chairman Migot Adhola.
At one time, the council members held a secret meeting where it was decided that Prof Wainaina be removed. They accused Wainaina at the secret talks of engineering and sponsoring a court order to stop interviews for those who had applied.
Former VC Mugenda’s name is featuring in the recruitment process. The council members are said to be a bitter lot that Wainaina has been raising issues with the construction of Kenyatta University Referral Hospital. Even after the contract was awarded, the project remains incomplete.
At another stage, the council wrote a letter to cabinet secretary Education Fred Matiang’i to have Wainaina removed.
The council with the influence of outsiders are fronting for Zipporah Ng’ang’a, who is based at South Eastern College University to be the next VC.
The closure of KU has been a blessing in disguise for those fighting Wainaina. They now have a reason to fix him.
On November 14 2017, Samuel Maina, coordinator doctoral and MBA programmes out of the blue released a memo postponding MBA proposal defence. The memo read: “This is to let you know that due to unavoidable circumstances, the above mentioned defence which was to be held at Alumni Building (main campus) on November 16 2017 has been postponed until further notice”.
Then on November 15 2017, Wainaina released an internal memo rescheduling of academic activities for semester one of 2017-2018. In the memo, the examinations that were scheduled to take effect from November 20 2017 were temporarily put on hold until further notice due to ongoing nationwide industrial unrest actiong by lecturers.
Then on November 15 2017 again, E T Mworia, registrar Academic Affairs released another internal memo on suspension of studies. It is this memo that annoyed students and ignited the mayhem that was later to be witnessed leading to the closure of the university.
It read: “This is to inform all students currently in session in the main campus during the September-December semester 2017 that classes and all other scheduled activities have been suspended from the date of this correnspondence. Student residing in the university are advised to vacate the university premises by 2.30pm at the very latest.”
Sources say anti-Wainaina forces have brought on their side student union officials who are now demanding his removal. Apart from the union, Muoria is also said to be working for Wainaina’s downfall.