Christian-based Kenya Methodist University has terminated the tenure of vice-chancellor Alfred Mutema in another controversial management shakeup five years after another vice-chancellor sued the institution for unlawful dismissal.
The university, which has its headquarters in Meru, advertised for the vacant position on Monday. It is inviting applicants with a doctorate degree to apply for a five-year term that is subject to renewal.
“Kenya Methodist University is seeking to appoint an eminent individual with an earned doctorate degree or equivalent qualification and an outstanding track record in academic and business leadership for the position of vice-chancellor,’’ said the statement in part.
Prof Mutema said his sacking was not justified, coming weeks before his term officially ends on March 24, even as he declined to discuss legal options.
Prof Mutema has been the university’s don for nearly five years, serving once as deputy vice-chancellor in-charge of academic affairs for a period of two years.
He worked alongside former vice-chancellor Mutuma Mugambi who sued the university for Sh161 million compensation citing failure to follow due process when his contract was terminated five years ago.
The university is said to have entered into an out of court settlement with Prof Mugambi.
But Prof Mutema maintained that he had not been informed of the management changes by the time the university gave him a termination letter on Friday.
“The university has been having problems on issues to do with governance which have often affected its performance,” he said.
“There was no official communication that my position would be advertised only to find myself served with a termination letter on Friday, no reason was given. There have been leadership wrangles within the institution and the Commission for University Education is aware of the problems facing the institution,” he added.
Mr Joseph Ntombura, the university chancellor and board chairman, said he was aware of the advertised position but did not wish to divulge details surrounding Prof Mutema’s exit.
“I am aware of the advertised position of the new vice-chancellor but I am not in a position to give details on the new restructuring for now,” said Mr Ntombura on Monday on phone.
The university operates campuses in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri and Kisii and has coordination centres in Meru town, Maua and Marimanti.
Sources within the institution said there has been controversy between sponsors and the senate with the latter accused of imposing decisions on how the school should operate including unveiling new programmes, infrastructure expansion and employees’ welfare without proper consultations.