A don has challenged Education secretary Amina Mohamed's recent appointment of vice chancellors.
Wilbroda Itolondo on Monday filed a suit seeking quashing of the re-appointment of VCs at Technical University of Kenya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kabianga and Maasai Mara universities, among others, for a second term.
Dr Itolondo, who teaches at Kenyatta University in Uganda, argues that the re-appointment of Francis Aduol (TUK), Stephen Agong (Jaramogi), Kabianga’s Wilson Kipng’eno and Maasai Mara’s Mary Walingo was not competitive.
She says that while Ms Mohamed had pointed out that retaining the VCs was based on performance, on the contrary some were among those that university councils had recommended sacking.
She has sued the attorney-general, Ms Mohamed and the four named universities. VCs of the varsities are listed as interested parties in the case.
“There is no evidence that the re-appointment of the four and other individuals not known to me as VCs of public universities in Kenya was subjected to a competitive process since there was no advertisement and interviews for their positions,” said Dr Itolondo.
The CS announced the renewal of contracts for VCs of public universities on May 20. Their contracts were set to expire by end of this month.
Ms Mohamed said that some councils had recommended the sacking of their VCs while others wanted theirs retained. The suit comes at a time when Masinde Muliro University’s staff is seeking the removal of its VC Fredrick Otieno over corruption and abuse of office allegations.
Daystar University’s Timothy Wachira was recently sacked due to frequent student unrest as well as mismanagement.
Dr Itolondo said that universities are public institutions hence VCs must be subjected to scrutiny in the performance of their duties.
In her case documents, she argues that there was no comprehensive audit of the universities hence the need for VCs to vacate office immediately.
She claims that universities will not suffer any prejudice if the appointments are halted since there are officials who can take charge.
Dr Itolondo said she had written to Ms Mohamed severally pointing out anomalies that need to be corrected as well as to protest a clause in the Universities Act 2012 which misses in the 2016 Act concerning re-appointments. She wants the High Court to temporarily stop the appointments.