Was State House briefed on new UoN DVCs list?

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Fresh details are emerging over the controversy surrounding the appointment of new Deputy vice-Chancellors  at University of Nairobi.

Reliable sources reveal, education CS Amina Mohammed consulted president Uhuru Kenyatta Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangí on the issue.

Matiangí had just been elevated to oversee all national development projects. “We cannot rule out State House was involved”, said our source. When he served as education minister, Matiangí was at loggerhead with institution top management as he tried to streamline operations . Matiangí move to appoint a new council was fought in courts rendering his appointees powerless. The super minister has never forgiven those in-charge.

Prof. Julia Ojiambo

Talk in legal circles is that, with those appointed who the council is against having accepted the positions,  it will lead to court battles if revoked. All this is happening as government state agencies are monitoring events at the institution.  Briefs  being, top management are secretly engaging student leaders to oppose the list of new DVCs.

Others say, the council is also planning to go to court to revoke the appointments.

Already, Vice –Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi is silently sponsoring the current management feuds at the institution. Weekly Citizen has information, Mbithi manipulated the council to have his cronies  land plum positions at the institution to help conceal suspicious deals. What Mbithi failed to understand was that, National Intelligence Service (NIS) had opened files on top managers and profiled them. In fact it is said a member of the council was planted deeply inside to monitor and report to powers that run the government.

We have information, concern have been raised in high circles over operations at the university and why Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission had failed to act despite reports being made.The new EAAC  chief executive Twalib Mbarak need to look into the matter.

After Mbithi plot to micro manage the university with his preferred faces being locked out, he lobbied the institution’s council reject the names of three deputy vice-chancellors (DVCs) appointed by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

Ms Mohamed after consulting relevant multi-state agencies bypassed the names of candidates the council recommended for appointment. They emerged top in interviews conducted between January 7 and 9 after a section on the council were compromised. According to sources well versed with the happening, at one time Mbithi plotted to have only three names forwarded to the ministry but the CS was briefed well in advance. The said were names he had in mind and even suggested to the council.

The council chaired by Prof Julia Ojiambo had recommended Prof Isaac Mbeche, who scored 82.9 percent for the position of DVC of finance, planning and development. However, intelligence reports on Mbeche indicated ,due to his social life, he was not fit for the position.

To surprise Mbithi camp, Ms Mohamed appointed Prof Mohamud Jama who emerged second with 66.8 percent. Jama was cleared by state agencies on grounds of being corrupt free and independent minded. Jama according to the schemes being hatched is likely to be the next VC come next year.

Prof Mbeche, who is also students affairs deputy VC has been the acting DVC of finance, planning and development since 2016.

Prof Mohamud has been the deputy principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and is liked by many. In fact, reports  being filed say,if the council has its way and Mbeche replaces Mohamud, lecturers and other members of staff are likely to down tools..

The council recommended the appointment Prof Stephen Kiama, who scored 78.7 percent in the interview as DVC human resource and administration, but the CS has appointed Prof William Ogara who was third in the interview with 62 percent. Ogara appointment was purely done on tribal balance basis since he is a Luhya.

The council wanted Prof Madara Ogot, who emerged top with 76 percent to take over the as the DVC of research, production and extension but the Cs appointed Prof Lydia Njenga who emerged third with 63.1 percent.The move was aimed at gender balancing as no female was holding a bigger position at the DVCS Offices.

It is only Prof Julius Ogeng’o whose recommendation for appointment as the DVC of academic affairs that was upheld by Ms Mohamed.

We have established, the appointments by Amina with the support of state security briefs clearly signals that Mbithi contract is likely not to be renewed once it expires next year. Mbithi camp had gone into celebrations after forwarding names to Amina only to be surprised as new events unfolded.

What surprises state departments is that, the council has resolved not to issue any contract to the ministry’s choices pending the resolution of the crisis. But what the council fails to understand, the CS has a right to pick any from the three names forwarded to the ministry.

The appointments dated January 15 and the newly appointed DVCs have until Tuesday to accept the appointments. They have been told to go ahead and accept as per the law

Members of the council are Wanjuki Muchemi, Ms Flora Mtuweta, Mighulo Mghanga, Dr Jocelyn Marie Rarieya and Mr Hassan Abdi Mohamud.

Isaac Chebon Kiprop, Mr Samuel Kiiru, for Treasury principal secretary, and TVET PS Dr Kevit Desai, who represents the Ministry of Education are council members.