Prof. Waceke Wanjohi replaces Prof. Paul Wainaina as Kenyatta University Vice-Chancellor

Kenyatta University's main campus along Thika Road [David Njaaga, Standard]

Prof. Waceke Wanjohi has been picked to replace Prof. Paul Wainaina as the Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University.

Wanjohi, who is Kenyatta University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academics, will hold the top seat in an acting capacity.

Prof. Wainaina was controversially ousted for refusing to surrender Kenyatta University land to the government for a WHO project and resettlement of squatters.

In a July 13 memo to all staff members of Kenyatta University, Prof. Paul Okemo, the DVC in charge of Administration, said Wanjohi’s appointment takes effect from Tuesday, July 12.

“The university’s management wishes to assure members of staff that all programmes will proceed as previously scheduled. The management requests staff for their support as they continue dispensing their duties to ensure the smooth running of the university,” said Okemo.

A new University Council was installed and Prof. Wainaina ousted after President Uhuru Kenyatta accused a section of senior staff members of Kenyatta University of refusing to surrender land to the State for development projects.

The fired council wrote a letter to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua on July 5, saying the government was acting unlawfully by attempting to take over Kenyatta University land through a Cabinet decision, instead of following the due procedure.

As per the Cabinet directive, 30 acres of land are to be given to the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish a regional operations centre and logistics hub.

Ten (10) acres on the other hand are to be given to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention while 180 acres of land are to be given to the Kenyatta University, Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital.

The resettlement of Kamae squatters would take up 190 acres of Kenyatta University land.

Civil rights groups have vowed to move to the courts to challenge the take-over of Kenyatta University land.