Magoha dissolves UoN council, revokes Prof Kiama appointment as VC

From left Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia, Nairobi University Chancellor Vijoo Rattasi, university council chairperson Prof Julia Ojiambo and Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama (right) during the launch of the council strategic plan 2019 to 2024, on January 6, 2020, in Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has dissolved the University of Nairobi (UoN)’s council and revoked the appointment of Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama as the new Vice Chancellor. 

The CS appointed Deputy VC (Finance, Planning and Development) Prof Isaac Mbeche to act as the new VC until the process of appointing a substantive VC is completed.

In a statement dated January 17, Magoha directed that Prof Kiama continue dispensing his duties as deputy VC, Human Resource and Administration.

The UoN council led by Prof Julia Ojiambo announced the appointment of Prof Kiama early this year as a replacement for the outgoing VC Prof Peter Mbithi.

 “I take this opportunity to thank the Public Service Commission, Council colleagues, the Ministry of Education, the entire university fraternity and Chancellor for according the recruitment process and respective facilitative instruments and agencies a chance,” said Prof Ojiambo on January 5, 2020

 “Our warm congratulations to the new Vice Chancellor on this appointment. We also wish to appreciate all who responded to the call for applications for exemplifying enthusiasm, courage, competitive spirit, the devotion of time and effort and their readiness and willingness to offer themselves in service to the University of Nairobi as Vice Chancellor”.

Eight candidates out of 14 who applied to replace Prof Mbithi were shortlisted for interviews.

They included Prof Benard Kimani Njoroge, Prof Solomon Igosangwa Shibairo, Prof Patricia Kameri Mbote, Prof Madara Ogot, Prof Kareithi Ruth Wanjiru Nduati, Prof Stephen Kiama Gitahi, Prof Elijah Omwenga and Prof Mbeche.

Those who did not make the interview cut included Prof Duke Omondi Otara, Prof Maurice Amutabi, Prof Isaiah Omolo Ndiege, Prof Julius Onyango Ochuodho, Prof Collins Ogutu Miruka and Prof Shitanda Douglas.

The recruitment process was carried out at the Public Service Commission before the university council

Prof Kiama was to begin his term immediately if his appointment was endorsed by President Uhuru Kenyatta but this was not to be.