President-Kenyatta University land feud: vice chancellor fired

Sacked Kenyatta University Vice- Chancellor Paul Wainaina.  PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Trouble is brewing in Kenyatta University after the secretary to the Cabinet Joseph Kinyua ordered the Vice-Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina to surrender the university's title deed as the row between the institution and its affiliate referral hospital over the ownership of a 1,000-acre piece of land escalated.

This even comes amidst reports that Prof Wainaina has left the institution under unclear circumstances. 

Prof Wainaina addressed staff on Tuesday morning telling them “This is probably the last time you’ll see me addressing you as VC”. 

It is also understood that the university council has been replaced, and a new team is set to take over the running of the institution later Tuesday. 

This comes just two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta castigated the university management for opposing plans to cede part of the learning institution’s land to the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is setting up a Sh600 million emergency hub to cater for its regional operations.

The varsity and the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital have been warring over the land, with KU saying it was hived off without its knowledge.

Speaking to the press last week, the VC Prof Wainaina said the idea to grant land to WHO was not in the best interest of the university as no consultations were done and they were not involved.

But without naming names, President Kenyatta said some individuals do not reason with the nation in mind, saying such managers should shape up and be ready to go home with him as he retires a month after his reign in office comes to an end.

“We have individuals who are very ignorant and behave as if they have never entered a classroom… they don’t understand that Kenya has never operated in isolation. We shall deal with those individuals swiftly and very effectively,” he said. 

The WHO Emergency Hub will be completed in three years and the Kenyan government has allocated 12.4 hectares with a committed fund of $5 million (Sh600 million) for the investment.

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