The Universities’ Academic Staff Union (UASU) now want the University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Stephen Kiama and other heads sent to jail for at least six months.
UASU says that the Vice Chancellor and other leaders at the university disregarded a court order that stopped the institution of higher learning from implementing changes that led to the restructuring of the university.
Through lawyer Titus Koceyo, the union argues that Kiama and the institution began appointing staff in non-existent positions that had been suspended by the court. The union has also opposed the proposed fee increment by the university’s leadership.
Other university leaders accused alongside the VC for disregarding the court order include the Acting Associate VC in charge of Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, Acting Chief Operations Officer, Brian Ouma, and Acting Executive Dean Faculty of Arts, Prof. Ephraim Wahome.
“That the above be punished for contempt of court by committal to civil jail for a period of not more than six months or as directed by the court or fined Ksh500,000 each in accordance with the law,” read part of the application.
The union also sought the court’s intervention to suspend all the actions implemented by the university until further notice.
Koceyo, in the application, argued that the proposed changes lack a policy framework and that they would cause confusion among students within the university.
Justice Maureen Onyango of the High Court had issued a temporary order barring the implementation of the changes.
“Due to the constitutional and fundamental issues raised in this petition by UASU which touch on the core structure of the university, a conservatory order is hereby issued suspending the implementation of the proposed changes,” ruled Justice Onyango.
In the proposed changes, the university would double the fees for postgraduate courses and parallel degrees, replace five offices of Deputy Vice-Chancellors with two positions of Associate Vice-Chancellors. Additionally, colleges were to be abolished and the 35 faculties were to be refined to a maximum of 11.