Even as the #See9SeeKU Version of the Tecno Camon Challenge is taking place at Kenyatta University, a former Vice chancellor of the institution is in trouble. The beloved former VC Prof. Olive Mugenda has found herself in the center of controversies surrounding the purchase of land in Rwanda. The land said to have been overpriced was bought at a tune of 370 Million shillings.
Months ago the CUE asked the institution together with JKUAT to close down their respective campuses in Rwanda citing irregularities in the process of establishing them. The education body later on cleared the two Nairobi based varsities to continue offering programmes within the said campus outside Kenya.
Days ago, the Public Investments Committee questioned the decision by Kenyatta University to invest more than Sh370 million to open up a campus in Rwanda without necessary approval.
During proceedings on Tuesday, MPs put the university’s management to task for contravening regulations governing investment of public funds abroad without the permission of the Commission for University Education.
The Rwanda campus was among former VC Olive Mugenda’s ambitious plans to expand the institution’s academic reach across the region.
Committee chairman Adnana Keynana questioned how KU management purchased buildings in Kigali in readiness for student intake in September this year, yet the undertaking had not been approved by the National Treasury as required.
“Given that the Treasury is represented in the Council, the Ministry of Education and the University, we thought that that was good enough; but we now know we needed Treasury approval,” Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Wainaina told the committee.
In a quick Twist of events, Kenyans on Twitter led by @ItsMutai have laid the blame squarely on Prof Mugenda who was the VC then. Mutai has tied the public opinion’s case with the other haunting JKUAT VC Prof Mabel Imbuga.
In an explanation given via a trend #JKUATandKUScandals , Mutai says that Prof Mugenda is allegedly the director of the company which sold land to KU in Rwanda. The whistle blower has questioned why the former VC purported to have been buying the land from someone else yet she was the same person whose company was receiving the payment.
MPs also questioned why the university registered the Rwanda campus in the name of a private company. In response, KU said that it was a requirement by the Rwanda government on investments by foreigners.
The committee ordered KU management to furnish it with copies of the feasibility study, which included details of the procurement process.
The institution was also asked to submit its budget, including correspondence from local oversight institutions, to establish if the project was factored and approved.
KU has been asked to avail a full list of the directors of the company.