In the period, the institution has had three acting vice-chancellors and now the government has appointed another acting VC, Prof Solomon Shibairo.
Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) has been without a substantive Vice Chancellor for 16 months following the exit of Prof Fredrick Otieno after 49 cases were filed to oppose the choice of the new don.
In the period, the institution has had three acting vice-chancellors and now the government has appointed another acting VC, Prof Solomon Shibairo, formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academics and Students Affairs at Kibabii University.
Shibairo, a professor of horticulture, takes over from Prof Asenath Sigot who has held the position for nine months. She succeeded Prof Joseph Bosire in July last year who held the position for seven months.
The institution also has a new council led by Dr Jane Musangi, following the exit of Dr Jeremy Bundi. Other council members who have been appointed include Consumer Federation of Kenya Secretary-General Stephen Mutoro, Connie Mogaka, Ahmed Diriye, Joshua Ogango and Gad Kiragu.
In an interview with the Saturday Standard at the institution, the Principal Secretary in charge of University Education and Research, Amb. Simon Nabukwesi, said they have been unable to install the new acting VC due to tribal politics and leadership wrangles.
He was at the institution to install Prof Shibairo as well as install a new University Council that Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha appointed on March 20.
“People want a substantive VC but what is delaying the process is unending court cases. So far we have 49 court cases in the High Court filed by people who have vested interests at the university,” said Amb. Nabukwesi.
Nabukwesi said the institution could be having a substantive VC but the move by some members of the previous council who wanted a particular candidate, sat on the Public Service Commission (PSC) panel that was interviewing applicants who were interested in the VC position.
Activist Okiya Omtatah successfully petitioned the court to stop the recruitment process after former MMUST Council Chairman Dr Jeremy Bundi and Samson Muchelule (council member) sat on the PSC recruitment panel.
“The appointment of Prof Shibairo as VC was a carefully thought idea. I was sent by Prof Magoha to install him (Prof Shibairo) as the new acting VC as well as the new University Council,” said Amb. Nabukwesi.