- Chairman said the appointment of the new principal will bring new programmes that will help grow the university. Target is charter in two years.
- Prof. Akuja was sent on compulsory leave to pave way for the investigation into alleged financial irregularities.
The Council of Turkana University College has appointed a new principal after the institution was rocked by leadership wrangles.
Prof George Chemining’wa is the new head of the institution and will serve for six months on a renewable basis.
He had been professor of agronomy and dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Nairobi.
Chemining'wa, from Western Kenya, said he will work to ensure the institution receives a charter in two years.
Given earlier leadership wrangles, all appointments will be temporary, though renewable, for the time being.
Chairman of the Turkana University Council Solomon Muchina made the announcement on Tuesday. He was joined by board members.
Chemining’wa takes over from Prof Fredrick Kassily who had been acting principal. The previous principal, Prof Thomas Akuja, was sent on compulsory leave in January to pave way for investigation into alleged financial irregularities.
“We want to stabilise this institution so when we come here again we don’t only discuss the problems of the institution but discuss the developmen, the growth of students, staff, the community and the country," Muchina said.
He said the appointment of the new principal will bring new programmes that will help the institution grow.
Muchina said they have appointed a substantive full professor for the next six months.
“This is an academic institution and for it to get a charter we need a full professor and not an associate professor to lead the university," he said.
In July Muchina addressed the leadership wrangles and the alleged financial irregulrities, saying all positions in the institution are now temporary.
He had said the council will advertise all the positions so they are filled by a qualified and competitive team that will drive the institution in the right direction.
Principal Chemining’wa thanked the council and promised to work closely with students, staff, the community and the county.
He promised to ensure the institution gets a charter within two years.
He said they will adhere to all government directives on containing the spread of the coronavirus.
However, a section of Turkana leaders led by Senator Malachy Ekal had demanded a local resident to lead the university and asked the Mministry of Education to reinstate he suspended Prof Akuja.
(Edited by V. Graham)