The Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) has called on to the Education Ministry to send parking all managers and council members at Egerton University pending investigations into financial misappropriation at the institution. They have further called on the government to investigate suspected financial impropriety, corruption and abuse of office at the university.
The union has also taken issues with the vice chancellor Prof Rose Mwonya over what they termed as ‘hiding behind COVID-19 pandemic’ to fire up to 400 employees.
Speaking to members of the press early last week, Kusu Secretary-General Charles Mukhwaya asked Egerton University to scrap a report proposing the retrenchment of the staff in bid to reduce the payroll cost.
“The envisaged staff downsizing exercise on the excuse of cash chaos as a result of Covid-19 is diversionary,” said Dr Mukhwaya.
According to the union leader, the current financial status of the university and their move to sack workers is a clear indication of the crystallization and an aggregate of years of poor management, systematic corruption and misplaced financial investment priorities.
In the university’s June 30, 2019 financial statements, the institutions had an outstanding imprest of Sh72.5 million for the 2018/2019 financial year.
During the same period, student’s debts stood at Sh869.99 million.
Dr Mukhwaya noted that the above figures cannot be ascertained pointing out that the university’s top leadership has irregularly and corruptly changed the statuses of self-sponsored students to regular.
The move to retrench staff which has also been approved by the university council was touted to reduce the Sh464.4 million annual payroll cost by Sh38.7 million per month.
In July this year, the VC Prof Mwoya noted that the university had requested the government to consider providing Sh589.7 million to finance the layoffs.
The university had also tried to implement pay-cuts but the plans were thwarted by the Labour Court.