Vice chancellor dismisses graft claims against him

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) Vice Chancellor Fredrick Otieno during a past press briefing. He denied being corrupt. [File, Standard]
Embattled Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) Vice Chancellor Fredrick Otieno has denied misappropriation of funds and abuse of office claims levelled against him.

Addressing the Press at the weekend, Prof Otieno said that his exemplary track record at the institution should earn him a second term in office.

He was reacting to sentiments by three University Academic Staff Union (UASU) members calling on him to proceed on terminal leave pending completion of his five-year term.

UASU and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA) had said that the VC should step aside to enable fair sourcing of his successor.

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According to the unionists, Otieno is unfit to get a second term for failing to account to financial queries raised by the auditor general.

KUSU Secretary Leonard Wamalwa said they are contemplating inviting the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to investigate financial impropriety at the institution saying the anti-graft body has failed to perform its duty.

According to him, university lost Sh18 million as legal award after the embattled VC cancelled a contract to erect a building at the institution.

“The VC should proceed to terminal leave six months to the end of his term. This will make the competitive process of recruiting his successor free from influence,” said Wamalwa.

In a quick rejoinder, the VC said there is no law that says any head should step aside and that the laws they were citing were non-existence.

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“There are over seven Vice Chancellors from other institutions whose terms were renewed last week. This was done when they were still in office and not while they were on a terminal leave,” said Professor Otieno.

The VC further said the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) investigated the matter and was satisfied that no money was lost.

“I can authoritatively say without any fear of contradiction that I am a person of unquestionable integrity. Those allegations being brought out every now and then were investigated by EACC and I was exonerated. Let the unions say which contract was revoked,” said the MMUST VC.

He denied claims of having sanctioned the university to pay Sh55,000 at his Mumias home besides Sh85,000 house allowance in his pay-slip.

masinde muliro universityVice Chancellor Fredrick Otienocorruption