Court suspends VC interviews at two universities

Petitioner says no provisions made for public participation at any stage

In Summary
  • Activist Omtatah successfully argued recruitment process was not transparent
  • Two universities, PSC, Education CS Magoha and AG ordered to file responses
Justice Hellen Wasilwa
ORDER: Justice Hellen Wasilwa
Image: FILE

A labour court has suspended ongoing interviews at Garissa and Laikipia universities to fill vacant positions of a vice chancellor and deputy vice chancellors.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa issued the order after activist Okiya Omtatah successfully argued that the recruitment process was not transparent.

He also argued that no provisions had been made for public participation at any stage in the entire recruitment process.

The judge directed that the matter be mentioned on January 16. In the meantime, the two universities and the Public Service Commission, CS Education George Magoha and Attorney General were ordered to file their responses in the case.

In the case, Omtatah says he is aggrieved that the recruitment to fill vacant positions of vice chancellor and deputy vice chancellor (Academic and Students Affairs) and DVC (Finance, Administration and Planning) at Garissa University and DVC (Administration, Finance and Planning) at Laikpia University were being conducted in clear violation of the Constitution.

Omtatah faulted the process because the vacancies, lists of applicants and shortlists of the candidates to be interviewed and the venues and times of scheduled interviews were not advertised in the press.

He said the PSC violated the law when it invited the chairman and members of the council of Garissa University to participate in the interviewing of candidates for the position.

“The inclusion of the chairman and council members will defeat the purpose for which Parliament amended some sections of the Universities Act to remove any conflicts of interest so that the process of recruiting and appointing vice chancellors of public universities can be independent,” he said.