President Uhuru Kenyatta’s disgruntlement over the move to fill University of Nairobi’s top job without his consultation could have influenced the revocation of Stephen Kiama’s appointment as vice chancellor.
Education CS George Magoha on Monday said, “The council acted in manner that did not conform after failing to consider the government’s input in filling the position.”
He continued, “It is unfortunate that someone somewhere is pulling strings and wants to destroy the university.”
Magoha spoke at Olympic Primary School in Kibera, where he launched a campaign to ensure all learners who sat the 2019 KCPE exam proceed to secondary school.
In a Gazette notice on January 18, Magoha said the appointment of a substantive VC will be done after the completion of consultative meetings.
Magoha also dissolved the Julia Ojiambo-led UoN Council.
The Education CS said he met the President in Mombasa last week and he questioned the appointment of the vice chancellor.
The University Act 2016 dictates that a public university, recommend for appointment a vice chancellor, deputy vice chancellors and principals of colleges after a competitive process.
In the case of universities, the Public Service Commission carries out the competitive exercise before it forwards the candidates’ results to the council.
The CS is not obliged to consult with the president in making the appointment.
However, Magoha said “I cannot appoint anyone without consultation with my appointing authority. I’m not beholden to anybody because I will take orders from my appointing authority.”
Magoha said the council consulted him on January 3 and a meeting ended with no agreed candidate.
“There was a candidate they had recommended.. I told them to let me consult, but they went on and announced the VC,” he said.
“The government looks at many other things when given the top candidates. He is not bound by my recommendation or that of the council.”
Magoha said the leader of the government is Uhuru.