After the University of Eldoret was closed due to the strike that took place last semester, everything was about the vice chancellor’s replacement. The vice chancellor was facing resistance from a section of the community that allegedly wanted the institution to be headed by “one their own”.
Prof. Ole Sena who is the University Council chairman disclosed that the council had requested the Kenya National Audit office to undertake independent investigations on alleged procurement malpractices at the University. However the Education cabinet secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said that the government will not bow to pressure and replace University Vice Chancellor Teresa Akenga on the basis of her tribe.
“We can’t convert universities to be tribal. The universality of universities must be maintained lest we balkanize the country”, Prof Kaimenyi told the Senate Education Committee, chaired by senator Daniel Karaba (Kirinyaga )
Prof Kaimenyi further stated that Prof Akenga was appointed on merit and those who were eying the position but were unsuccessful should give her ample time to execute her mandate. The Cabinet Secretary has also warned the local youths who ganged up with the leaders to frustrate the vice chancellor.
Prof Akenga has maintained that the staffs are hired according to the university’s recruitment policy and that most of them are from the rift valley region, contrary to the position taken by her opponents.
Prof Sena stated that the council has made significant steps in reconciling the warring groups to ensure that service delivery is not disrupted. The council chairman said they had initiated appropriate measures to seal corruption loopholes after cases of financial irregularities were detected.
Of great concern to the students, the chairman stated that the university has come up with an electronic system to enhance quality in its examination department. This follows concerns that over 150 students had their results cancelled after some staff colluded with the students to alter their marks. There will be no change of marks with the use of that electronic system.
Mr. Karaba said that the committee would prepare a report on the matter and table in the house to chart the way forward.