The row over appointment of four deputy vice-chancellors (DVCs) at the University of Nairobi has escalated after a lobby filed court case to challenge Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Amina Mohamed’s decision.
The Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has sued the university, Ms Mohamed and the Attorney-General seeking to suspend the appointment of Prof Jama Mohamud, Prof William Ogara, Prof Lydia Njenga and Prof Julius Ogeng’o.
CS Mohamed picked Prof Mohamud as the DVC for finance, planning and development, Prof Ogara for human resource, Prof Njenga for research, production and extension and Prof Ogeng’o for academic affairs.
Although the appointments were meant to end a leadership crisis at the East Africa’s leading university, Cofek argued that the decision should have awaited the outcome of an ongoing court case.
Through lawyer Boniface Akusala, Cofek claimed Ms Mohamed’s decision was ill-advised considering that the DVC who was in charge of administration and finance was never sacked but remains suspended and is still on the payroll.
“Since the matter in the pending case touches on the same issue, it is fair, just and of great public interest that an order halting the purported recruitment of the four DVCs is made so as to preserve the sanctity of the law as well as court,” said Mr Akusala.
The crucial finance docket was previously held by Prof Njoroge who was suspended following a leadership row with Vice-Chancellor Peter Mbithi after attempts by the university council — then chaired by Dr Idle Farah — failed to resolve their wrangles.
Prof Njoroge accused Prof Mbithi of overstepping his mandate by seeking to control the university’s finances.
Since then, the position has been held by Students Affairs Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Mbeche.
Justice George Odunga had also suspended the appointment of six others after it emerged that they were appointed illegally.
Cofek has also accused the university and Ms Mohamed of splitting up the administration and finance department.
According to the lobby, allowing the purported appointment amounts to waste of taxpayers’ money and that the public stands to suffer irreparable damage.
By Daily Nation