As Jomo Kenyatta university celebrated 20 years anniversary, the students , staff and Juja residents called on the president, who graced the occasion as the chief guest , to sack the senior management for corruption, mismanagement and propagating tribalism in the university.
The Vice chancellor, prof. Mabel Imbuga in 2008 disbanded the legally recognized University council and senate and created what the stakeholders refer to as an illegal circle of her friends called the University Management Board ( UMB) which has crippled the development and operations of the only university of agriculture and technology in Kenya.
The UMB which is chaired by the VC has on several occasions faced confrontation from Juja residents, staff and students , and has allegedly repeatedly vowed to convert the University into a museum by the time her contract expires in 2017.
The university management has of late been at the centre of land and buildings scandals , in which it is alleged that they diverted money meant for the university operations into buying prime buildings in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisii and Kisumu. The management has recently purchased the ICEA building for 2 billion shillings, Kenyatta road land at 8 billion, Kanini farm at 13 billion shillings, Mombasa CBD land and buildings at 12 billion among others. This it does despite the fact that the university has over 3000 hectares of idle land which was donated by the first president , Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
The students, staff and Juja residents appealed to the president to sack the Vice chancellor, the 3 deputy Vice chancellors, Ag. Deputy security officer , disband the UMB and restore the power to the university council and senate as per the university charter and statute.
The residents also requested the president to revert all the money spent in land and buildings buying cartels to be reverted immediately to be used within the university idle land at main campus.
The Vice chancellor is currently facing 12 cases in court for interfering with the businesses of locals in Juja by fencing the feeder road instead of fencing the university, illegally sacking the former DVC –administration , prof. Njeru , propagating tribalism in employing staff and mistreating employees who 70 % are casuals who have worked in the university for more than 15 years.
The university in 2014 sacked 38 casuals for demanding to be employed on better terms , and their efforts to be assisted by the area MP to get back their jobs was cut short when the Vice chancellor employed members of the MPs family as a way of buying his silence and up to date the employees are languishing in poverty in the neighborhoods, while some have filed a case with the industrial court.
Among the projects that the president opened have elicited mixed reactions as they are said to be ghost and nonexistent. The Taifa laptops project which is said to be manufacturing laptops in JKUAT by students is nonexistent and the laptops that he was shown were imported from china and earlier in December , 2014 during an event in the University , the Deputy president fell for the same lie.
The university is currently facing an acute shortage of staff as the recruitment exercise which was started in 2011 to replace the staff who moved to the new constituent colleges was marred by tribalism and only individuals from western and Luo communities got a few posts before the whole exercise was aborted due to bedroom wrangles.
The students on the other hand are facing a hard time due to lack of lecture halls and hostels for accommodation. At least 50 % are currently living in the slums of Gashororo, Mushatha and Witeithie which lacks basic amenities including sanitation, security. The 6 hostels in the university are currently deserted due to invasion by bedbugs and are inhabitable , and only those students who have no other option live there. The students also called on the president to revisit their pleas which led to demonstrations in November last year , which was due to draconian fee policy introduced by prof. Imbuga and the UMB.
The residents of Juja have vowed to take the first step and remove the Vice chancellor.