Amina to decide fate of eight vice chancellors - Daily Nation

Amina Mohamed to decide fate of eight vice chancellors

Tuesday May 15 2018

vice chancellors

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed addresses guests during the launch of an interministerial task force at her Jogoo House office, Nairobi, on April 26, 2018. She will make a decision on whether to extend the terms of vice chancellors whose contracts come to a close. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MARY WAMBUI
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By OUMA WANZALA
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Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed is set to decide the fate of vice chancellors whose terms end in May and June.

This is after Ms Mohamed received performance reports from public university councils in which some have recommended the sacking of their current vice-chancellors while others want their vice-chancellors retained for a second term.

Ms Mohamed said the retaining of the vice chancellors will be purely based on their performance.

UNIVERSITIES
The vice chancellors whose terms end in May are Prof Francis Aduol (Technical University of Kenya) and Prof Francis Lelo of Laikipia University.

And those who are required to leave office next month are: Prof John Akama (Kisii University), Prof Teresa Akengo (University of Eldoret) and Prof Japhet Magambo (Meru University), Prof Stephen Agong (Jaramogi Oginga Odinga), Prof Mucai Muchiri (Karatina University), Prof Mohamed Rajab (Pwani University) and Kabianga’s Wilson Kipng’eno.

Prof Magambo was sent on terminal leave in June following the death of a student leader in February.

The contracts of Chuka University Vice Chancellor Erastus Njoka and South Eastern Kenya University's (Seku) Geoffrey Muluvi have been renewed.

The exit of those who will not be re-appointed will come at a heavy cost to taxpayers as they are entitled to benefits.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Speaking at M-Pesa Academy in Thika on Monday, Ms Mohamed said: "This week we shall be looking at these recommendations as a ministerial committee.

"For those whom we have received recommendations for their extension of term in office we will look at their performance and decide.

"And for those whose recommendations is that we should advertise and open up the posts so that others can apply we shall look to see whether we can do that."

The universities received their charters in 2013.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) Vice Chancellor Mabel Imbuga will be exiting in July after serving her two five-year terms.

Jkuat Council chairman Paul Kanyari said the recruitment process is going on but declined to disclose more details.

APPOINTMENT
Maasai Mara University Vice Chancellor Mary Walingo's term will end in September 24 while Masinde Muliro University's Fred Otieno ends in December.

According to the Universities Act 2012, the recruitment of vice chancellors, deputy vice chancellors and principals of constituent colleges must be done through a competitive process by respective councils that are appointed by Education Cabinet secretary.

But the procedure might change if the bill before the National Assembly is passed.

The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2018 by Aden Duale proposes that officials for the three positions be recruited by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Also, the officer will only serve for a period of five years, non-renewable.

BILL
The Education Cabinet secretary will then make the appointment after the Public Service Commission completes it part.

At the moment, recruitment is conducted by university councils.

Most of the recruitment drives in public universities have been characterized by bias, political interference and tribalism - forcing the government to step in.

On recruitment of a chancellor, the bill says universities will be involved from the start as opposed to now where the President has the sole prerogative of appointing the chancellor.

The bill proposes that a university senate will, in consultation with key stakeholders, identify suitable persons for the post.

"Five names shall be proposed to the senate and submitted to the Public Service Commission for shortlisting and identification of three suitable candidates, ranked in order of merit," the bill says.

COUNCIL MEMBERS
It goes on: "The Public Service Commission shall forward the names of the top three candidates to the Cabinet secretary for onward transmission to the President, who shall pick one of the persons for appointment as chancellor."

It further says that the appointment of a chancellor will be announced through a gazette notice.

Ms Mohamed announced the recruitment of public universities council members and chairpersons.