More than 70 lecturers at Kibabii Diploma Teachers College who have been locked out of new jobs at the nearby Kibabii University College by a High Court order issued last December want it rescinded, the Star learnt yesterday. Speaking anonymously for fear of retribution from the college administration, the lecturers who are master's degree holders and some who are studying for their doctorates, said they will apply for 150 lecturer positions at Kibabii University College which could be advertised next month.
Kibabii University College, which is a constituent college of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, admitted its first batch of 329 students early this year and will admit another 445 in two months. The institution needs additional teaching staff to the 20 coordinated by Prof Isaac Ipara who inaugurated lectures there.
However, both teaching and non-teaching staff at the Kibabii Diploma College although eligible for employment at the university college cannot take new posts there because of a High Court order issued by Busia resident judge Florence Muchemi on December 14 last year. Judge Muchemi granted three applicants, Martin Wanyonyi, Simon Mwangala, and Raphael Owaka, a temporary stay of orders contained in clauses number three, four and 16 of the legal notice N0 115 of Kibabii University College in the Kenya Gazette issue number 113 signed by President Kibaki establishing the university college.
The High Court is set to rule on the matter in October this year by which time the jobs on offer would have been taken up by other eligible candidates given that clause 16 of the legal notice being contested touched on the university taking over liabilities, assets and staff of the diploma college. Although the applicants were not opposed to the establishment of the university, they opposed its takeover of the diploma college assets.
The trio want the university to exist at the main campus at Kibabii and the diploma college to continue operating as a separate entity at the Tuuti campus arguing that the latter's closure would be a major drawback to the achievement of the millennium development goals and the Education ministry's policy framework for education, training and research.
Consequently, the Kibabii University College lecturers have engaged a lawyer to enforce the Legal Notice signed by President Kibabii so they they do not lose employment opportunities available to which they are eligible. They are also up in arms against their principal Jessica Simiyu for conspiring with the applicants and frustrating their bids for better terms of employment while threatening "the more vocal ones with transfers away from Kibabii."