Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha wants the row over the University of Nairobi vice-chancellor’s post subjected to a month of negotiations.
The CS made the application Thursday before Justice Maureen Onyango of the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
“The contestants, if willing, can agree to solve the matter amicably by way of negotiations. It will then be fair for all other parties to withdraw their many intervening applications,” Prof Magoha said through lawyer Mahat Somane.
“We request time to engage and file a consent before court.”
Stephen Kiama, the professor whose appointment CS Magoha revoked, protested against the request, saying there were no negotiations to begin with.
“There is nothing to be negotiated. All the CS requires to do is reflect on his decision,” Prof Kiama’s lawyer, Mr Fred Ngatia, said.
“We do not need to negotiate because we didn’t do that in the first place. The applicant is entitled to the statutory process.”
Prof Isaac Mbeche, who CS Magoha appointed acting VC, protested against the 30-day period, saying his client wanted the matter resolved quickly.
Prof Mbeche’s lawyer, Mr Ahmednassir Abdullahi, asked the court to consider granting the parties 14 days instead.
Lawyer Paul Nyamodi, for the Public Service Commission, said it was not opposed to talks aimed at finding a solution to the dispute that has resulted in a power battle between Prof Kiama and Prof Mbeche.
The judge set a hearing for March 27, when the court will be told whether the parties will have reached an agreement.