Prof Timothy Wachira (inset), the outgoing vice-chancellor of Daystar University claims that he has been a victim of ‘malicious forces’ that wanted him out of the university. He, however, says he has forgiven those who said bad, untrue and malicious things about him.
Two weeks ago, the management of Daystar University announced, through the media, that Prof Wachira had been sacked, effectively replacing him with his deputy, Prof James Kombo, in an acting capacity.
Prof Wachira took issue with the manner in which this communication was made and later carried by several media houses. “I was not consulted when that communication was sent out,” he said. “The communication failed to disclose several important facts related to the matter. “
During the interview, Prof Wachira showed us a letter indicating that his departure from Daystar University was on mutual consent. ‘Following consultations between the Council and yourself, I now wish to inform you that your current contract has been terminated by mutual consent,” says the letter dated May 4, 2018. The letter was signed by Prof George Krhoda, chairman of the university council.
Towards the end of last year, Daystar University was beset by disturbances, including student unrest, which led to the closure of the university on a number of occasions. The students demanded the ouster of Prof Wachira, accusing him of, among other things, mismanagement and abuse of office.
“Contrary to reports that I was sent on forced leave, I asked the university council to allow me to take sabbatical leave to enable the university resume its normal operations while the issues at hand were being looked into,” he explains.
When contacted, Damaris Kimilu, who handles communications at Daystar University referred The Nairobian to the June 9 issue of Infospot, the university newsletter that contained the message from Prof Kombo, relating to Prof Wachira’s ouster: “This is to inform the University community that the University Council, has terminated the services of Prof Timothy Wachira as Vice-Chancellor of Daystar University. Prof Wachira is in the process of handing over and clearing from the University.”
Following the disturbances, the university was forced to conduct an audit to establish the veracity of the grievances being made by the students, whose report was delivered by the auditors on February 2018.
“I was furnished with a copy of the report, which contained a number of allegations and which I responded conclusively,” explains Prof Wachira. Among the accusations include the allegation that the contractor who is building a dam at the institution is related to Prof Wachira.
“This is an outrageous and defamatory allegation and I am saddened that it has not been addressed in this revised document even after pointing it out in my earlier response,” writes Prof Wachira in a response dated April 11.
He had also been accused of using proceeds from the sale of university land to purchase personal property. In his response, Prof Wachira noted that this was a ‘misrepresentation of facts that could so easily have be verified and openly known to the Council. “Again, I am shocked that this allegation was not debunked even after revision of the report.”
He particularly takes issue with media reports that alleged that he demanded a 10 per cent cut for any contract undertaken at the institution. “This report, which quoted anonymous sources, was clearly malicious and defamatory in nature,” said Prof Wachira. That particular allegation, he added, did not even feature in the audit report.
On May 7, 2018, the university, through Prof Krhoda, wrote to Prof Wachira, noting that the Council, “upon review of the final report and comments that you submitted…” found that “you are proved personally not culpable in any of the allegations raised. The council regrets the negative attention and impact this intervention has brought unto Daystar University as an institution and to your person.”
In his report, he says that he has forgiven all who have intentionally or otherwise spread untrue information regarding his conduct at the university.
“This has been highly prejudicial to my character, career and my family.”
Prof Krhoda has since resigned as chair of Daystar University’s Council as well as three other Council members, including the vice chair.
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