Confusion has rocked the University of Nairobi (UoN) after Prof Kiama Gitahi named Prof Madara Ogot as UoN Deputy Vice-Chancellor just hours after Education CS George Magoha announced his removal.
Prof Kiama in a statement said his appointment as VC was lawful and valid, adding that he was in office to serve contrary to the CS’s announcement.“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.
During his announcement in a gazette notice, Prof Magoha also dissolved Prof Julia Ojiambo-led council that appointed Prof Kiama as the Vice Chancellor.Magoha 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.
In a statement dated January 17, Magoha directed that Prof Kiama continue dispensing his duties as deputy VC, Human Resource and Administration.
Prof Kiama was appointed on January 6, this year and was to be installes next week before Magoha.The statements flying from the Profs is a clear indication the power struggle at the institution.
Magoha in his statement did not indicate the reason behind the dissolution of the council, but sources indicate the council was accused of bungling the process of recruiting a new VC.Eight candidates out of 14 who applied to replace Prof Mbithi were shortlisted for interviews.
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.
Those who did not make the interview cut included Prof Duke Omondi Otara, Prof Maurice Amutabi, Prof Isaiah Omolo Ndiege, Prof Julius Onyango Ochuodho, Prof Collins Ogutu Miruka and Prof Shitanda Douglas.
The recruitment process was carried out at the Public Service Commission before the university council.