Matiang’i sued over UoN council appointees

Monday March 20 2017

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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A man has moved to court to challenge last week’s Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i’s appointments for the Council of the University of Nairobi.

In a suit filed against Dr Matiang’i and the Attorney General, Mr Thadayo Obanda seeks to have Gazette Notice 2334 that was published on March 14 of the six appointees to be suspended.

Mr Obanda claimed that the appointments of Mr Timothy Mwangi Kiruhi, Mr Meshack Kidenda, Mr Victoria Otieno, Mr Mahat Somane, Mr Peter Maangi Mitiambo and Ms Jane Wanjiru Michuki were made unlawfully hence the six should be barred from assuming office.

Through lawyer Jusa Ambani, he claimed that Dr Matiang’i made the appointment in blatant contempt of court orders issued on March 3 by High Court judge Justice George Odunga who barred him from unlawfully meddling with the composition of the governing council of the University of Nairobi.

He argued that as a result of the appointments, the Council of the said varsity now has 12 members in contravention of the Universities Act.

He also argued that the appointed members are required to serve in office for three years yet the law sets the term for Council members at four years.

He further claimed that there was no public participation or competitive recruitment involved in the appointment of the six yet the matter is of great public interest.

“Mr Obanda is aggrieved and deems the appointment as illegal, it is only fair that pending the final determination of this case, the court suspends the taking effect of the gazette notice,” Mr Ambani said.

According to Mr Obanda, the outgoing Council members Dr Sanjay Advani, Ms Pascalia Koske and Dr Lucy Kiyiapi who were appointed on July 31, 2013, have not completed their term.

In his case documents, he alleged that the terms for the outgoing members had also not been revoked hence they are still in office and may have to work with the newly appointed ones.

He therefore wants the gazette notice that announced the new appointment as well as its implementation be temporarily suspended.

Last year, Mr Obanda successfully managed to have the education CS ordered by the High Court to keep off meddling with the University of Nairobi’s affairs in a separate suit.