Suspended VCs must proceed on leave, union demands

Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) now demands that Vice Chancellors ordered to go on suspension in disciplinary action do so immediately.

Addressing journalists in Nairobi, KUSU officials said continued stay of the managers in office was impunity and called upon the Ministry of Education to take stern measures upon such leaders.

It is worrying that university VC’s are running these institutions with untold impunity. Why would a VC be adamant that they will not proceed on suspension even when they have been ordered to do so?” wondered KUSU Secretary General Dr Charles Mukhwaya.

According to Mukhwaya, some of the VCs who are holding onto their offices even after receiving suspension letters include MMUST’s Prof Fredrick Otieno and Egerton University’s Prof Rose Mwonya.

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Egerton University Council sent Professor Mwonya on suspension on claims of overseeing an unfair distribution of scholarships, unaccountable spending of Sh44 million to put up an electric fence that failed to work, and investing Sh180 million on a university farm- which, according to them, is not profitable.

Further, she is also faulted for authorizing the construction of a gate worth Sh70 million, allegations she has denied.

On the other hand, Otieno was suspended after KUSU, UASU and KUDHEIHA raised alarm over a report by the auditor general indicated the university management could not account for a loss of Sh18 million.

“Universities are losing lots of financial resources through pilferage and plunder by top management at a time the institutions are underfunded. MoE’s oversight role must be intensified to tame this,” added Mukhwaya.

the union also vowed to fight to the end the newly imposed 1.5% housing tax, saying it was a scheme by the government to raise more funds for payment of public debt that has now soared past the Sh 5 trillion mark.

“This scheme could be another scam in the offing, just like NSSF and NHIF, or just a repayment plan of the ballooning public debt. No serious government will burden its citizens with more burdens in order to repay foreign debt,” the union maintained.

They called upon government to raise capitation for universities after it slashed more than a billion from the university budgets in the recent austerity measures ordered by president Uhuru Kenyatta.

The union addressed journalists during its quarterly stocktaking meeting.

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