Counties

MPs opt out of JKUAT campus closure hearing on court case

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Residents of Kakamega town go about their daily business. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NMG

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Summary

  • Commission for University Education (CUE) recommended shutdown of the campus in August saying it is located in a noisy spot at Kakamega’s central business district (CBD).
  • Shutting of the campus came despite the county government securing 3.5 acres of land to relocate the campus some three kilometres from the CBD.
  • The abrupt closure comes months after Mount Kenya University shut its campus in Kakamega, leaving the county with only Masinde Muliro University.

A House committee on Wednesday halted deliberations on the planned shutdown of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Kakamega campus following a case lodged by students to challenge the closure bid.

JKUAT vice-chancellor Wambui Ngumi on Wednesday told the National Assembly Education Committee that affected students in September sued the university management over the closure.

Commission for University Education (CUE) recommended shutdown of the campus in August saying it is located in a noisy spot at Kakamega’s central business district (CBD).

“We cannot proceed with this matter since it is already in court and therefore subjudice,” said Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri, who chaired the committee session.

Shutting of the campus came despite the county government securing 3.5 acres of land to relocate the campus some three kilometres from the CBD.

In a petition, Lurambi MP Titus Khamala asked parliament to order the Ministry of Education and CUE to reverse the decision in order to secure the interest of students some of who were left with just a semester to complete studies.

The facility which was opened in 2011 was located at Ambwere Fraha Building and had over 800 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

In a memo issued ahead of its shutting, the management of JKUAT had directed students to either opt for online classes, or relocate to other campuses of the institution in Kitale, Kisii and Nakuru.

The abrupt closure comes months after Mount Kenya University shut its campus in Kakamega, leaving the county with only Masinde Muliro University.

Mr Khamala said the County Government of Kakamega had acquired an additional 50 acres in Likuyani as the final location for the campus.