Recruitment of DVC finance at Mmust headed to courts

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) Council Chairman, Dr Jeremy Bundi - Photo/Courtesy


By CGN Reporter

The recruitment of the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) has hit a snag.

The position fell vacant after Joseph Rotich, was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of Laikipia University in May this year.  Prof Rotich had held the DVC post since January 2014.

The Mmust University Council under the chairmanship of Jeremy Bundi had advertised for the vacant DVC- finance position in the local dailies on August 3, this year. A total of 24 candidates applied for the position.

Of the 24, only five applicants have been shortlisted for interviews on November 9. They are Prof Maurice Amutabi, Prof Alfred Muyabi, Prof Mike Iravo, Prof Daniel Rotich and Prof Genevieve Mwayuli.

Five senior lecturers from Mmust applied for the position but none of them was shortlisted for interviews, a matter that raised eye brows and split the University Council into two.

They are Prof Stephen Odebero, Prof Thomas Sakwa, Prof Charles Mutai, Prof William Shivoga who has been acting DVC for Planning and Research for two years and Dr Patrick Ojera, the current acting DVC Finance and Administration.

Other applicants were Alex Mumbo, Samuel Gichaya, Emmy Kipsoi, Daniel Auka, Gitile Naituli, Godrick Bulitia, Joshua Ogendo, Isaiah Wandiki, John Thuo, Daniel Gichaya, Jacob Bitok, Nelson Were, Evans Basweti and Isaiah Ndiege. All are professors.

Three organizations have moved to court to have the recruitment stopped over claims that it was marred by irregularities.

They are led by activist Okiya Omtatah from the Kenyans for Justice and Development (Kejude), Weco Founders and Stakeholders Association which is represented by Dr Ligabo Machanja and Tom Shivachi.

Citizens for Good Governance are being represented by petitioners, Philip Wanyonyi Wekesa and Albert Wamalwa.

Mr Omtatah told the media in Kakamega town that he had requested for information from the university but received a rude answer from the council chairman.

“Under the Fair and Administrative Action Act, 2015 and the Mmust statutes, we wanted the council to give clarification on the procedure used to shortlist the five applicants out of the 24 for interviews, scores for all the 24 candidates and their eligibility to hold the position they applied for,” said Omtatah.

Omtatah said Dr Bundi wrote to them saying their concerns will be addressed after the next council meeting which is in two weeks’ time and yet the interviews for the shortlisted candidates slated on 9th of this month.

“I am going to court tomorrow (Monday) to have the entire recruitment process nullified so that it can start afresh. In my prayers, I also want the university council disbanded since it does not represent the public interests,” said Omtatah.

Weco Founders chairman, Tom Shivachi, wondered why the council did not shortlist any applicant from the university senior staff holding management positions but settled on outsiders.

“We represent the Weco community that looked for money including taxing residents of Western Kenya to put up the university. We cannot allow the council to install their cronies who will embezzle institution’s funds in favour of some council members,” said Shivachi.

Mr Shivachi said apart from asking the court to compel the council to start the recruitment process afresh, they want the current council disbanded since it has outlived its usefulness.

“Some of the shortlisted have bad history and were even sacked by the university councils of their parent institutions when holding senior management positions. We will not allow that to happen,” said Shivachi.

For Citizens for Good Governance, besides nullifying the recruitment, they want the court to have the council disbanded but have its chairman surcharged.

Philip Wanyonyi Wekesa, said they have taken several petitions to the Cabinet Secretary of Education, Amb. Amina Mohamed to have some members of the council removed from the office but no action was taken.

“We want the chairman of the council be surcharged over abuse of office, incompetence, gross misconduct in discharging his duties and violation of Chapter Six of the Kenyan constitution,” said Wekesa.

However, a council member who sought anonymity said they were shocked to see the advert on the dailies inviting the candidates to come for the interviews.

“The council is split into two and we will not preside over an exercise that is unconstitutional. We don’t want to be micro-managed in reaching at decisions that are uncouth,” said the council member.

The Council Chairman, Dr Jeremy Bundi, declined to comment on the matter.