Learning paralysed at Kaimosi Friends University over VC’s appointment

Students at Kaimosi Friends University. Photo courtesy

Learning at Kaimosi Friends University in Vihiga County has been paralysed for the past one week due to leadership wrangles, with stakeholders accusing the Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu of interfering with the appointment of the Vice Chancellor.

Machogu recently appointed Prof Mary Abukutsa Onyango as the the VC. The appointment has however been opposed through street protests, demonstrations and court litigations.

The CS has been accused of ignoring recommendations by the university council and the results of interviews conducted by the Public Service Commission in which Prof Nandi Ogodo Manyasa emerged the best candidate with 80.33 points followed by Prof James Njiru and Prof Onyango who both tied at 71 points.

On January 2, 2024, the Council announced the appointment of Prof Manyasa, as the substantive VC. But his appointment was revoked by Machogu, through a letter to the council that recommended Prof Onyango for the position.

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This has stimulated protests from students, community and politicians, even as Prof Manyasa move to court to challenge the move.

Students have been disrupting the traffic flow along Kaimosi-Kakamega road for the last three days demanding the reinstatement of Prof Manyasa for the learning to resume.

The student leader, Jairus Imbayi said they were suffering without learning because of the on-going tussle.

“Why can’t Education CS allow the best candidate to legitimately occupy the office of the VC?” asked Imbayi.

The students have vowed to continue with their protests until Prof Manyasa is reinstated.

Paul Mbuni, a resident of Shamakhokho claims that the Education CS was politically influenced.  “We know people who want a local to take over the running of this university so that they can manipulate him and distort the management of the university. They want a VC who will open doors for corruption to prevail,” Mbuni added.

By Brian Ndigo

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