Kenya: UON VC - Court Halts Magoha's Decision Against Prof Kiama

20 January 2020

A court on Monday suspended Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha's decision to revoke the appointment of Prof Stephen Kiama as the University of Nairobi's Vice-Chancellor.

Judge Maureen Onyango, of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, also suspended Prof Isaac Mbeche's takeover as acting VC.

The orders will remain until a case Prof Kiama filed, through lawyer Fred Ngatia, is heard on February 5.

Prof Kiama sued the CS and the Attorney-General and listed the UoN, Prof Mbeche and the Public Service Commission as interested parties.

WRANGLING

The suit follows a back and forth over leadership of the institution following Prof Peter Mbithi's exit in July 2019.

Professors Mbeche and Kiama have both issued statements, saying they are in charge of the prestigious institution.

CS Magoha said Prof Kiama would continue dispensing his duties as the deputy VC in charge of human resource and administration.

The UoN Senate, students' association and its chapter of the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) have backed CS Magoha's decision, noting the need to follow the legal process for appointing a VC.

MAGOHA'S ORDERS

UoN Council chair Prof Julia Ojiambo announced Prof Kiama's appointment earlier in January in a letter to university stakeholders.

She said he would serve a five-year term effective January 6, 2020.

In his announcement last Friday, however, Prof Magoha revoked the appointment and dissolved the council.

He later wrote to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), calling for investigations into the recruitment the PSC conducted on December 18, 2019.

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