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December 10, 2018

Calm urged at varsity after VC Otieno denied new term

Masinde Muliro University’s science laboratory block /SAMUEL SIMITI
Masinde Muliro University’s science laboratory block /SAMUEL SIMITI

University of Science and Technology have called on students and staff to support the appointment of Prof Joseph Bosire as the neutral acting vice chancellor.

The professors’ forum said the university’s staff are polarised after the exit of former vice chancellor Prof Fredrick Otieno.

The university council did not renew Otieno’s contract, which expired in November.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating operations at the university. While addressing the press in Kakamega on Tuesday MMUST professors’ forum chairman Oteng’i Silvery said that during this transition period the university must remain united and calm to discharge its mandate.

“We are going to support anything that the ministry takes up to stabilise the university and we oppose divisions of any kind,” Oteng’i said.

He said that the professors agree they will not allow any issues to distract them from uniting behind Bosire.

In a press release read by forumsecretary Prof Sakwa Thomas, the professors declared their stand on leadership changes.

Last week the Education ministry appointed Prof Bosire from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University to head the institution in an acting capacity for three months.

Recruitment of a new vice chancellor will begin soon. Otieno was under pressure by the university’s unions not to stay on.

They included the Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya Universities Staff Union(KUSU), Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers and other stakeholders.

The professors said they have confidence in the university council and fully supported the governments’ decision to appoint a neutral acting VC. They said they would cooperate to avert malpractices, which they did not specify.

“The MMUST Professors Forum strongly condemns the divisive sentiments and actions by sections or groupings of disgruntled persons whose intention to discredit the council,” Thomas said.

It is alleged that some employees who wanted to maintain the status quo are unhappy about the leadership change and are out to incite students to violence.

They warned disgruntled persons against making trouble leading to disruption of university operations.

They also cautioned students. The forum appealed to Bosire to work harmoniously with the staff, particularly union officials. They said they would all participate in the next graduation ceremony on December 14.

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