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KeMU closes some satellite campuses, lays off over 100 staff

The Kenya Methodist University campus in Meru County. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NMG
The Kenya Methodist University campus in Meru County. FILE PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NMG 

The Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) has closed two of its campuses and sacked over 150 employees, it has emerged on Tuesday.

According to sources, campuses affected by the closure include those in Nyeri and Nakuru counties with affected students expected to be taken in by the Meru, Nairobi and Mombasa centres.

However, it was not immediately clear why they had been shut down as at the time this story was published.

In a termination letter sent to affected staff, the institution attributed the move to sack them to "dynamics affecting the education sector in the entire Kenyan economy".

KeMU's university council resolved to let go of the employees in a meeting held on Monday last week, according to the retrenchment notice.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Henry Kiriamiti, in the letter signed by him, says KeMU is undertaking a "restructuring process to enhance its effectiveness and competitiveness."

Graduation postponed

The institution, whose main campus is in Meru County, has also postponed its 17th graduation ceremony that was to be held on July 22 to October 14 this year.

It has campuses in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri and Kisii as well as a presence in Meru town, Maua and Marimanti.

This is the second time the university, which is owned by the Methodist Church, is having to face restructuring difficulties.

In 2015, KeMU slashed staff allowances by up to 30 per cent due to what management cited as financial difficulties, coming just a month after firing former vice-chancellor Alfred Mutema.

Another former vice-chancellor, Mutuma Mugambi, sued the university in 2012 for Sh161 million citing failure to follow due process when his contract was terminated five years earlier.

He was sacked along with five senior managers in a shake-up.

KeMU was awarded its charter by former president Mwai Kibaki in 2006.

Additional reporting by Lynette Mukami

Editor's note: This story has been edited to include updates on campus closures issued by KeMU on June 2, 2017

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