University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Dismisses Reports of Compulsory Leave

University of Nairobi VC dismisses reports of forced leave, sparking leadership dispute. Council and VC at odds, raising concerns over governance and political interference in higher education.

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Israel Ojoko
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University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Dismisses Reports of Compulsory Leave

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Dismisses Reports of Compulsory Leave

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama has dismissed reports that he was sent on compulsory leave by the university council on April 19, 2024. In a statement, Kiama urged staff and students to ignore the directive, stating that he remains in office.

The university council had earlier announced that it had sent Kiama on compulsory leave and appointed Prof. Ayub Njoroge Gitau as the acting Vice-Chancellor, effective April 19, 2024. However, Kiama refuted this decision, implying that he remains the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi. "I am aware of a communication made on April 19 about me going on leave, but I have trashed the directive and urged all staff and students to ignore it," Kiama stated in a communiqué.

This is not the first time Kiama has dismissed a council resolution to have him proceed on leave. In September 2023, the UoN council had given Kiama the green light to proceed on a six-month leave, but he returned to the university a month later, only to be instructed by the council to continue with the leave as previously scheduled.

Why this matters: The ongoing leadership dispute at the University of Nairobi highlights the challenges faced by higher education institutions in maintaining stable governance. The tussle between the university council and the Vice Chancellor raises concerns about the smooth functioning and decision-making processes within the university.

Kiama emphasized the need for the university community to recommit to the task of driving the university to become globally competitive and transforming society. Despite the ongoing leadership stalemate, the UoN council stated that they will continue working together with Kiama. The situation is being fueled by outside political forces, and the Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has been called upon to intervene.

Key Takeaways

  • UoN VC Kiama dismisses reports of being sent on compulsory leave.
  • UoN council had earlier announced Kiama's leave and appointed acting VC.
  • This is not the first time Kiama has dismissed a council resolution to proceed on leave.
  • The leadership dispute highlights challenges in maintaining stable governance at UoN.
  • Education CS Machogu called upon to intervene in the ongoing leadership stalemate.