Kenyatta University reinstates VC sacked over land tussle with State

Prof Paul Wainaina

Kenyatta University students escort Vice-Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina (centre) to his office on July 27, 2022. PHOTO | NMG

Kenyatta University (KU) Council has reinstated Professor Paul Wainaina as the Vice-Chancellor (VC), just two and a half months after his dramatic sacking following a land tussle with the government.

His reinstatement was announced by the acting Deputy VC, Prof Paul Okemo, in charge of administration, in a Thursday memo to staff.

“This is an official communication to all members of staff that following settlement of previous disputes about the leadership of Kenyatta University, Prof Wainaina has been reinstated,” the memo reads.

“Prof Wainaina is reporting back today (Thursday) at 10.00 am and members of staff are encouraged to be at the main gate to welcome him.”

Prof Wainaina was hounded out of office on August 15 following a series of dramatic developments that stemmed from disputed ownership of a parcel of land adjacent to Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital. The government wanted the university to cede the 410-acre piece for developing an infectious disease unit under the World Health Organisation.

Prof Wainaina was forced out of office, and the university’s council was suspended for refusing to surrender the title deeds after they opposed the subdivision of the land, saying it was not in the university's best interest.

Read: End of road as KU sacks embattled boss

According to Daily Nation, quoting government sources, Prof Wainaina’s return comes after parties involved in a dispute that led to his exit signed a consent to withdraw court cases.

Prof Wainaina was appointed VC for a five-year term on January 26, 2018.

A PhD holder in education philosophy from Canada, Prof Wainaina has worked in different universities for the last 36 years, with most of them spent at KU. He first became a lecturer at KU in 1985, before joining Moi University as a senior lecturer in 1987.

He served as an associate professor of education at Moi University between 1990 and 1996, then rose to full professor at the same institution.

He went back to KU in 2005 as a professor. Four years later, he was appointed a member of the KU Management Board, serving for five years. He also became a member of the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF), which deals with employment in public institutions of higher learning.