Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has faulted the Commission for University Education's (CUE) procedure in seeking to sack its chief executive officer, Prof David Some.
Dr Matiang’i said due process and respect for the Constitution must be followed.
The commission’s board has accused Prof Some of incompetence in discharging his duties.
“I have read the report on the performance of the CEO, with which I concur. However, while I fully understand your desire for immediate action, given that the review raised grave issues on the performance of the CEO, due process must be followed,” said the Cabinet secretary, in a letter dated January 13.
He said the chief executive officer should be given an opportunity to be heard, in accordance with disciplinary procedures.
“I advise you to formally put these allegations to the CEO in writing and demand a response from him within a reasonable period of time. Should the commission still hold on [to] its current position, after analysis of his response, then proceed to exercise your mandate to terminate the contract,” said Dr Matiangi in a letter to CUE chairman Prof Henry Thairu.
He advised that Prof Some be given a specific timeline to respond to allegations levelled against him, failure to which the commission should invoke clause 28 of his letter of appointment and sack him.
“In other words, the commission should exhaust its internal process in enforcing disciplinary action, given the constitution dispensation, we must at all times act within the constitution and the labour law,” said Dr Matiang’i.
The Cabinet secretary added that in the event that the chief executive officer is removed, the commission must conduct an open and competitive recruitment process.
Prof Some’s contract is due to expire on September 3, 2017.
According to a letter to the CS by Prof Thairu, dated December 21, 2015, Prof Some has failed to provide leadership in line with objectives given.
The commission board has also cited dismal performance as assessed by the commission and an independent consulting firm, Africa Corporate Governance Advisory Services Limited.
Mr Thairu said the CEO’s contract should be terminated, and that he should be given six months’ salary and house allowance in lieu of a notice. Prof Some is also to be paid a gratuity at the rate of 31 per cent of his annual basic salary.
The CEO has also been accused of failing to discharge the commission’s core mandate on quality assurance.
Prof Some has, however, denied the allegations, saying no one has put forward the allegations to him.
“I have not been summoned by the commission to explain all these allegations. In fact, when the board met, I was [away attending a funeral] and since coming back no one has told me anything,” said Prof Some on Tuesday.
“Considering his performance since his appointment, the commission has strong reservations on his ability to continue serving as the commission’s chief executive officer,” said Prof Thairu in a report submitted to Dr Matiang’i.
Board members want Prof Some sacked because, they say, his interaction with the staff is very poor and that despite numerous complaints, no improvements had been noted.
“He brings no harmony in the institution and the staff are demotivated. He has failed to build or nurture a motivated staff force,” states the report.
It argues that staff have written several anonymous complaint letters to the chairman and commissioners, the Cabinet secretary, the Ombudsman and Parliament, and were, therefore, spending time complaining and not working.
The board further stated that the CEO has not taken seriously issues that have serious health and security risks, despite the board's resolutions and directions on the same.
Prof Some is also being accused of lack of proper clear engagement with stakeholders that has led to direct complaints to the CS.
He is also being accused of not taking good care of confidential documents that found their way outside the boardroom without the authority of the commission.
“He has blocked the commissioners from inspecting and or checking the processes of inspection of universities.
“Yet he does not give adequate information to the board. This has blurred the commissioners on what is done on the ground and consequently, commissioners make decisions based on incomplete or inadequate reports,” said the chairman.
The report also alleges the CEO has not devoted adequate time to the commission as he is a member of many external committees, and has failed to delegate responsibilities to his deputies.
Prof Some has also been accused of failing to provide leadership on important functions affecting the commission.