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February 23, 2019

MKU refutes Sh600m claim by part-time staff

DON: Mount Kenya VC Prof Evans Kerosi
DON: Mount Kenya VC Prof Evans Kerosi

CLAIMS by a section of part time lecturers at a private university that they are owed Sh600 million have been dismissed by the institution.

The university said it is common knowledge part time lecturers are not staff of an institution and are engaged on a semester contract when serviceable units are on offer.

Mount Kenya University, with its main campus in Thika town, had already made a commitment to settle dues owed to any of the complainants upon submission of claims to the institution.

A statement by the university signed by long-serving deputy vice-chancellor in-charge administration, planning and institutional advancement, Prof Evans Kerosi, read mischief in assertions made against the institution.

The soft-spoken but firm administrator maintained it was the business of the institution to respect the opinion of even its adversaries but on the other hand will not stand by as campaigns to cripple it is rolled out.

“The university is entitled to follow its laid down structures. It can't compromise on its integrity by being put under pressure. It's our prerogative to make payments against genuine claims,” said Prof Kerosi.

He said no letters of termination were issued to the affected lecturers.

In a telephone interview, Prof Kerosi refuted claims it has not been meeting its payments of statutory obligations.

“Our doors are open to tax collectors to verify the claims. MKU is up-to-date with payments of statutory obligations. The claims are weird.”

In a follow-up inquiry, on possible reasons for the claims leveled against, MKU, the administrator declined to speculate but on the other hand insisted they should have presented the facts to the media at the briefing venue.

On February 11, the disgruntled lecturers — waving placards — accused the management of the institution of wrongful dismissal, not paying them for more than a year and that the number of part time lecturers was set to be reduced.

“You see evidence about allegations is key for the media. I did not read or hear of evidence produced to back the allegations,” Kerosi said.

“We will continue with our obligation as a university to upgrade our data bank to establish authenticity of submitted certificates by everyone who belongs to us. The process cushions the university against false claims being made.”

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