Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) has sent its vice-chancellor Henry Kiriamiti on compulsory leave citing “non-performance”. The move creates a new management crisis that has dogged the institution over the years.
In a letter dated July 17 to Prof Kiriamiti by the university council chairman, Charles Mbui, the VC is required to take all pending annual leave days with immediate effect and hand over to Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Prof Maurice Okoth.
“Following the Special Council meeting of July 17, the Council noted your responses of July 13, 2017 on non-performance issues raised to you vide the Chairman of the Council’s letter dated July 7, 2017 and further resolved that you take all your pending annual leave days with immediate effect as you await further communication from the council,” the letter states.
The council chairman was appointed early this year to help restructure the institution which has been struggling financially. The development comes less than two months after the institution shut down two campuses in Nakuru and Nyeri and sent home more than 150 workers over financial crisis.
Prof Kiriamiti was appointed in June 2015 to replace Prof Alfred Mutema, whose term was terminated under unclear circumstances in February of the same year.
Prof Mutema had taken over after another controversial management shakeup that saw former vice-chancellor Prof Mutuma Mugambi sue the university for Sh161 million compensation citing failure to follow due process when his contract was terminated in 2010.
While introducing Prof Kiriamiti two years ago, KeMU Chancellor Bishop Joseph Ntombura said the new VC was expected to steer the institution to new heights.
Yesterday Prof Kiriamiti and Bishop Ntombura could not be reached for comment.
However, sources at the institution revealed that Prof Kiriamiti is not keen on taking the compulsory leave.
His deputy who is supposed to take charge is also barely two weeks old at the institution. The management dispute pitting the VC, the council and the chancellor is said to have been sparked by differences over how to settle the Kenya Revenue Authority’s Sh419 million arrears as well as Sh1.7 billion owed to suppliers and part-time lecturers.