Anxiety hits varsity as acting VC effects demotions and transfers

 Kaimosi Friends University acting Vice-Chancellor Prof Peter Mwita. [Brian Kisanji, Standard]

The appointment of Prof Peter Mwita as the new acting Vice-Chancellor of Kaimosi Friends University (Kafu) has plunged the institution into a leadership crisis. 

The arrival of Prof Mwita a month ago caused tension and anxiety among the university employees after he initiated a raft of measures to enable him to have a smooth landing.

So far, he has effected inter-departmental transfers, which have caused anxiety, with some staff claiming they had been discriminated against.

Among the staff members affected is Dr Jane Imbunya, whose appointment as the director of quality assurance was revoked and her place taken by Dr Nurwin Fozia.

Linet Mayavi, the legal officer, was moved from her office which was next to that of the VC. The office has now been reserved for Kafu council chairperson.

“I wish to inform you that you have been relocated to the Resource Mobilisation Office, the ground floor of the administration block,” reads a letter dated March 12. The letter originated from Dr Remmy Shiundu, in charge of space allocation at the institution.

 Kaimosi Friends University. [File, Standard]

Christine Gitonga, an assistant registrar in job grade 12, was on February 22 transferred from the Human Resources department to the School of Education and Social Sciences by Dr Mugesani, the deputy registrar.

Aggrieved, Gitonga wrote a protest letter to the acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration and Finance) on February 23, this year.

“I was informed of my transfer to the School of Social Sciences from the human resources department. The said transfer is less than a year since I was unceremoniously transferred from the resource mobilisation office and just a month after I reported from maternity leave,” Ms Gitonga’s letter reads in part.

Ms Gitonga claims she was discriminated against on ethnic lines.

She alleged that at some point, the deputy registrar had stated that he could not work with people from Mt Kenya region.

In a rejoinder, Prof Mwita was categorical that some of the decisions to transfer duties affecting some faculty members were within the law.

 Kaimosi Friends University. [File, Standard]

On transfers and restructuring at the institution, Prof Mwita said  it’s a normal process aimed at aligning the university to offer better and quality services. “No one has been fired. For Dr Imbunya, she is still a senior lecturer of this university, and what she was holding was just added responsibility. It’s upon the management to give the same duties to another person when deemed right,” said Prof Mwita.

 He said the legal team office had to be relocated as the senior management led by the university chancellor and chairman of the council had no office.

“For Mayavi, she is still the legal officer and she only gave space to the senior management,” said Prof Mwita.

On irregular hiring, examination malpractice, and irregular tendering and procurement, the acting VC maintains he had formulated a committee that will give a detailed report on how the process was done.

Civil society organisations and the Tiriki Community Council of Elders have protested the happenings at the university and want Prof Mwita to hold a meeting with stakeholders to discuss emerging issues.