Meru University Council eats humble pie on VC Prof. Romanus Odhiambo ejection

Meru University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Romanus Odhiambo [File, Standard]

The Council of the Meru University of Science and Technology has ordered the reopening of the institution on Wednesday, March 8.

The council also announced that Vice-Chancellor Prof. Romanus Odhiambo will resume his role with immediate effect.

Prof. Odhiambo had been ordered by the council to proceed on terminal leave as the institution looks for his replacement.

The council said it had resolved to discontinue Prof. Odhiambo's contract because of "poor performance", a claim the VC denied.

The vice-chancellor's removal from office sparked protests in Meru on Monday, March 6, with students barricading the Meru-Maua Road and damaging civilians' property.

Following the chaos, the university's senate met and resolved to close the institution indefinitely.

On Tuesday, however, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu ordered the reinstatement of Prof. Odhiambo, saying his removal from office violated the law, because he (Machogu) was not informed about the council's decision.

The minister also directed that the university reopens on Wednesday, March 8, and the scheduled graduation ceremony, which was penciled in for Saturday, March 11, to continue as planned.

Machogu said he will personally attend the function.

Following the CS's statement on Tuesday, the Council of Meru University sent out their resolution, saying they had asked Vice-Chancellor Romanus Odhiambo to resume his role immediately, and that the graduation be held on Saturday as earlier planned.

"The Council will facilitate Prof. Odhiambo's immediate resumption of office before close of business on 7th March, 2023," said the council's chairperson Prof. Bosire Monari.