Corruption cartels fighting back: suspended Egerton VC Rose Mwonya

Wednesday September 12 2018

Prof Rose Awuor Mwonya will on Wednesday officially take over from Prof James Tuitoek to become the fifth vice-chancellor of the institution that currently has four campuses and 25,000 students. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA

A file photo of suspended Egerton University Vice Chancellor Rose Mwonya. Ms Mwonya has blamed corruption cartels for her woes. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA |NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Suspended Egerton University Vice Chancellor Rose Awuor Mwonya has blamed corruption cartels which she says are fighting back.

Ms Mwonya has denied claims that she spent Sh70million on the construction of a gate at the Njoro campus and defended her position on the suspension of university registrar Seth Owido.


Regarding the gate, Ms Mwonya said:“This gate they are talking about is not an ordinary gate. It was factored into our development plan. It is a security system with a canteen and was constructed after a long delay by the previous administration."

Ms Mwonya further said the council was unhappy that she was fast-tracking the construction of the Sh2.4 billion library.

Regarding Mr Owido, she denied claims that she is protecting him following allegations that he converted self-sponsored students to government students without following the law.

The self-sponsorship programme, which was the cash cow of public universities, has since been discontinued.


The university council had recommended Mr Owido's suspension on corruption allegations.

In defending himself, he said: “The allegations are baseless and the university has never lost money. I was investigated by the EACC and found innocent."

Ms Mwonya said the council accused her of insubordination "simply because" she told them they must follow the law when suspending Mr Owido.

“I had no objection but I felt it was not good to suspend him without following tee laid down procedure. I think the council was unhappy with my firm decision,” she said.

Ms Mwonya added that some of the corruption allegations levelled against her by the university council arose before she was appointed VC in 2016.

“I was not there during former Vice Chancellor James Tuitoek's administration, which executed the construction of a Sh44million electric fence,” she said.


Ms Mwonya also denied reports that funds meant for the expansive Ngongogeri farm were mismanaged.

“Ngongongeri was a neglected bush but simply because I have improved it, some insiders and former top officials of the university are not unhappy and want to taint my name,” she said.

She said the farm's debts accrued during the previous administration.

“If there is anything about Ngongongeri farm as far as funds are concerned, the right person to answer the question is my predecessor Professor Tuietoek,” Ms Mwonya said.

Mr Tuitoek and the council's acting chairperson Mr Joshua Otieno did not answer phone calls for comment on the matter.

The university council has no substantive chairperson aS Ben Chumo, who is supposed to take over is facing corruption charges concerning his tenure at Kenya Power.

Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academics Affairs, Mr Alexander Kahi, said he will not agree to be the acting VC as the council has no powers to appoint the holder of this office.

“The council is supposed make a recommendation to the Cabinet Secretary. The VC is suspended and then the CS appoints an acting VC, not the council."