University Education PS Simon Nabukwesi has come out to add his voice on the controversial appointment of a new Deputy Vice Chancellor – Finance at Kibabii University.
The filling of the post has raised tension across key figures as residents vow to support Professor Donald Siamba, a local, to occupy the coveted post.
However, speaking on Thursday evening on West FM, Mr. Nabukwesi asked residents and local leadership to calm down and allow the government to sort out the issue amicably.
The former Friends School Kamusinga and also the Kenyan Ambassador to Canada, stated that the issue of holding demonstrations in the streets will only worsen the situation, and instead, committed that he would do everything possible to settle the matter.
“I have read about the issue and I want to affirm that the issue is being taken care of,” said the educationist, who is marking six months in his new job since being appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the new PS for University Education.
Nabukwesi also acknowledged that he has received the grievances from the voices and that his office is firmly settling the matter.
“Now that we have received this complain, my office and those concerned will do everything possible to bring this to an end and ensure that there’s no more tension,” Nabukwesi told Nandemu Barasa through a virtual appearance on the show in efforts to reduce social distancing in studio.
There has been a delay in appointing the DVC in charge of finance and locals are crying foul of a plot to appoint an outsider.
At the centre of the prolonged delay to make the appointment, is a team led by the University Council Chairman Dr. Mwangi Njoroge and the Vice Chancellor Prof. Ipara Odeo.
The two are said to be working in cahoots to protect their interests at the one of the youngest public Universities in the country. They are said to have set up a cartel of senior staff that oversees employment, procurement and general administration.
The two are said to be against the appointment of the acting Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Administration, Finance and Development Prof. Donald Siamba. Prof Siamba is seen within the University circles as principled, firm and a strict follower of the law.
In terms of the distribution of positions in the University Council Members along ethnic lines, there are Luo (3), Kikuyu (2), Teso (1), Somali (1), Kisii (1), and Taita (1).
For the University top management positions, Prof Ipara Odeo who is the VC is a Teso; the Deputy Vice Chancellors are Prof. Benedict Mutua(Kamba), and Prof, Julius Maiyo(Kalenjin). The DVC Finance position is vacant and being held by Prof. Siamba(Luhya) in acting capacity.
Others with senior positions are Prof Ernest Muhochi (Kuria)- Registrar Academic Affairs, Prof. Barrack Abonyo (Luo)- Registrar PPRI, Dr. Alice Chemtai (Kalenjin)-Dean of Students, Charles Kilel (Kamba)- Unicversity Librarian and Prof. Samuel Mbugua (Kikuyu) as Director ICT.
The race is believed to have narrowed down to three top candidates; Prof. Siamba, Prof. Emmy Jerono Kipsoi, and Prof. Lydia Kutima. Intense lobbying and horse trading has taken centre stage as various camps retreat to push for the appointment of their preferred candidate.
The local community, political leaders, and students have thrown their weight behind prof. Namasaka who has been holding the position in an acting capacity.
While prof. Siamba enjoys the support of the local leadership, other candidates too have mobilized their troops to push for their appointment.