'DESPERATE ATTEMPTS'

Uasu accuses Mbithi of using backdoor to get back VC post

Nairobi chapter secretary general says the former boss has been holding secret night meetings with some staff members

In Summary

• Mbithi is on terminal leave

• A court certified as urgent a case challenging the hiring of a new VC 

Prof Peter Mbithi. Photo/File
Prof Peter Mbithi. Photo/File

The University Academic Staff Union has accused former University of Nairobi VC Peter Mbithi of trying to get back to management through the backdoor.

The union claims Mbithi is making desperate attempts to fight the university council through a court case. Mbithi is on terminal leave. On May 19, he sought the council’s approval for a second term, but Uasu opposed the request.

Last week, Prof Isaac Mbeche was appointed VC in an acting capacity. Mbithi had served as VC for four years.

 

On Friday, Nairobi chapter secretary general George Omondi said the former boss has been holding secret night meetings with some staff members.

“We’re aware of the secret meetings and how he moved to court. If Mbithi was appointed by the council openly and left openly, why use the backdoor ...?” Omondi asked.

He said Mbithi and his “associates” want ant to continue ripping off UoN’s resources. 

On Wednesday, the Employment and Labour Relations Court certified as urgent a case challenging the hiring of a new VC.

Justice Maureen Onyango issued the directive after George Baraza sued the council, the Attorney-General and the Public Service Commission. Prof Mbithi was listed as an interested party.

It is believed some staff members have been attending closed-door meetings with Prof Mbithi. Uasu accuses Mbithi of lacking goodwill for the institution.

"On Monday, some students had a conference at Delta Hotel making weird allegations against the current acting vice-chancellor. We detest such kind of moves,’ Omondi said.

 
 

"Staff members who are busy spending their time in these meetings face the danger of disciplinary action and the union will not be protected.

"It is now time to rededicate ourselves to serving the institution without being selfish, having undeserved loyalty to individuals and spurning of negative energy."

Uasu blamed all problems faced by the university on Prof Mbithi and the time he served as the Vice Chancellor from January 5, 2015, to July 5, 2019.

The union said that since Mbithi left, the UoN staff have been receiving payment which they deserve.

This week, the university’s management released Sh220 million for direct service providers whose money, according to Uasu, "was sat on for five years".

On Friday, an additional Sh27 million was released to pay staff on teaching practice. For a whole semester, they have been using their own funds.

Uasu chairman Muga K’Olale urged all staff and students to ensure impunity is not tolerated. He said Mbithi went to court alone and he should not lure anyone into fighting battles which are against good governance.

"We are calling upon students to ensure they are not blackmailed and lured to play negative roles that could interfere with the stability and atmosphere necessary for education," he said, adding that change should be accepted.

(Edited by F'Orieny)