Unease at UoN ahead of new VC appointment


By FAITH NYAMAI
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Anxiety is mounting at the University of Nairobi over the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor even as students prepare to start reporting on Monday.

Acting VC Isaac Mbeche’s term ends on Sunday, even as sources in the university council reveal that he is missing from the list of the three candidates who have been forwarded to the Ministry of Education for appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) on December 18 interviewed eight candidates. PSC Chairman Stephen Kirogo yesterday told the Nation the interview results have already been forwarded to the council.

“We shortlisted the candidates, interviewed them as per the law and have forwarded the results to the council. The council will be required to select three candidates for appointment by President Kenyatta,” said Mr Kirogo.

Those interviewed are Prof Mbeche, Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Finance) Prof Bernard Njoroge, Deputy vice-chancellors Prof Madara Ogot and Prof Stephen Kiama. Others are Prof Patricia Mbote, Prof Kareithi Nduati, Prof Elijah Omwenga and Prof Solomon Shibairo.

But Friday, the University Staff Academic Union (Uasu) – Nairobi chapter Secretary George Omondi said the names of the three appointees must be made public. “The council is not allowed by the University Amendment Act 2018 to be involved in the process of appointing the new VC,” he said. “There are people who want to manipulate the process and Education CS George Magoha should make the list of nominees public,” he added.

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According to the PSC chairman, the university council chaired by Prof Julia Ojiambo is required to select and forward the names of the three candidates to Prof Magoha for onward transmission to the President.

Proj Ojiambo said she could not comment on the issue. “I am held up in a meeting and cannot discuss that now,” she said.

President Kenyatta will pick one person from the list of three nominees.

Prof Mbithi was asked by the council to take compulsory leave on July 6 to allow investigations on corruption allegations.


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