By Wilson Abiri
The University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) has welcomed the appointment of Dr Jane Musangi Mutua as the Council Chairperson of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust).
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha on March 20, this year for a period of three years appointed Dr Musangi. This is after the exit of Dr Jeremy Bundi and his council on March 10.
Other council members include, the Consumer Federation of Kenya Secretary General Stephen Mutoro, Connie Mogaka, Joshua Ogango and Gad Kiragu.
“The Cabinet Secretary of Education appoints Dr Mutua as the Chairperson of the council for a period of three years with effect from March 10, 2020,” read part of the gazette notice.
In exercise of powers conferred to me by section 36 (1) (a) and (d) of the Universities Act, 2012, the Cabinet Secretary of Education appoints, Dr Jane Musangi Mutua as the Chairperson of the Council of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) for a period of three years effective, March 10, 2020,” read part of the gazette notice by Prof George Magoha.
Mutua was previously the chairperson of the Pwani University council. Earlier efforts by then Education CS Amina Mohamed to appoint Dr Musangi head Mmust council were thwarted by the court when her appointment was revoked. The unions moved to court and pushed for reinstatement of Bundi as council chair.
Uasu through its Secretary General, Prof Sammy Kubasu Kwashe, welcomed his appointment stating that they work together in discharging her duties as Mmust chairperson.
“On behalf of Mmust Chapter Executive Committee, Mmust chapter members and on my behalf, kindly accept the congratulatory message from us for being appointed as the chairperson for Mmust council,” read Prof Kubasu’s letter to Dr Musangi.
The letter further read: “This demonstrates the trust and faith the Ministry of Education through its CS, Prof George Magoha, has in your ability to serve. As a union, we are committed to work with you as you discharge your noble duties without fear or favour, to better this great university and take to the next level. Always count on our support in tis noble task,”
Dr Jairus Odawa, an Uasu delegate, said Prof Kubasu’s letter was the true position of the union and that they were ready to work with Dr Musangi in order to propel the institution to greater heights.
“We want to state categorically that Dr Musangi is welcomed to Mmust and as a union we are in full support of her appointment. Her record of accomplishment speaks for itself. Avoid what the Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) has said. We are ready to work with her,” said Dr Odawa.
Odawa dismissed Kusu’s position on her appointment saying the unions doesn’t have any role to play in the appointment of University Council’s, who is there employer.
The moves comes barely three days after the Kenya Universities Staff Union said they were not involved in her recruitment.
“We are the stakeholders of Mmust fraternity but Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha did not consult us before appointing a new council for us. We Have given him a one week ultimatum to rescind his decision including revoking that gazette notice,” said Ronald Wamalwa, the Kusu Secretary General in a presser today.
Mr Wamalwa said that Prof Magoha erred in law in appointing Dr Musangi as the new chairperson of the Mmust council without involving the unions and that if a week elapses before Magoha revokes the gazette notice, they will take the next action not limited to seeking court redress over the matter.
Dr Musangi is expected to oversee transition at the University as top senior management positions are being held in acting capacity for 15 months now after the exit of the late Vice Chancellor Prof Fredrick Otieno.
Following the exit of Prof Otieno in November 30, 2019, Prof Joseph Bosire was appointed acting VC until July last year when he was replaced by Prof Asenath Sigot.
The three Deputy Vice Chancellors at the institution are also holding office in acting capacity.
Prof Charles Mutai is the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) for Planning, Research and Innovation. He took over from Prof Egara Kabaji whose five-year tenure ended in January.
Prof Josephine Ngaira, former DVC for Academics and Students Affairs tenure expired in October last year and Dr Eng. Benedict Sabuni took over in acting capacity.
The current Acting DVC Finance and Administration is Dr Patrick Ojera. The position fell vacant after Prof Joseph Rotich who held the office was appointed VC for Laikipia University.
An earlier attempt by the university council to recruit a substantive DVC for the position hit a snag after a Kisumu Labour and Relations Court stopped the exercise that had attracted 24 applicants.