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Activist accuses council of running down Garissa University

Monday November 5 2018

Garissa University College

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and other leaders look at a monument erected by Garissa County in honour of people killed at Garissa University College during an attack by Al-Shabaab terrorists, May 21, 2016. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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An activist has accused the Garissa University Council of meddling with the management of the only institution in the region.

Mr Mohamed Khalif, chairman of the Garissa Civil Society Organisations, claimed on Monday that the council has been coercing the management to sack local staff, whom he noted are the minority at the university. The council has refused to comment on the claims.


Mr Khalif also accused the council of holding more meetings than required and demanding more than Sh1 million in allowances.

He said it held five meetings, instead of the three that are required annually, and that it also had six additional committee meetings.

Speaking to the press at a Garissa hotel, the activist noted that the institution is facing unique challenges because of the attack by Al-Shabaab militants on April 2, 2015.

The chairman is concerned that the university cannot afford huge allowances for council members.

"The university is undergoing so many challenges that the president ought to intervene. The university council should stop interfering with the management of the university," he said.

The activist defended Vice Chancellor Ahmed Warfa saying he has achieved a lot since the terror attack that left 147 people, mostly students, dead.

"The council chairman is arm-twisting the vice chancellor. He has instructed him to sack all locals yet their percentage is too low. They account for 3.3 percent of university staff," he said.


Four month ago, the Daily Nation highlighted the university's financial struggles as it failed to pay its workers and supplier.

This was attributed to infighting between the council and the university's management, a circumstances that threatens its progress.

Contacted, council chairman Dr Christopher Gakahu said he will not discuss university matters with the media.

President Uhuru Kenyatta issued the university with a charter in October 2017 to make it autonomous.

President Kenyatta said he wanted to send a strong signal to the terrorists, to show that his administration will not bow to threats.

The institution is yet to receive a Sh500 million grant from the government.