- Machogu said the state will no longer be funding public universities.
- The remarks have been widely condemned as unilateral.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has come under over what has been termed as a roadside, yet far-reaching declaration on the fate of State funding of public universities.
University lectures have warned Machogu against making 'unilateral and roadside' policy declarations without any engagements with stakeholders.
Universities Academic Staff Union Organizing Secretary Onesmus Mutio on Sunday asked the CS to consult widely before making radical policy pronouncements.
"So who has he consulted? Has he had time to engage the stakeholders and get proposals on how best to address the challenges?" he said.
Machogu had on Saturday put public universities on notice saying they should think of how to generate their own revenue as the State will soon stop funding them.
"I’m going to move around each and every university in Kenya because a number is faced with financial problems and we are encouraging that they must generate their own income because the exchequer as it is now is not going to continue funding more," Machogu said.
The CS spoke at the Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology in Nyeri County.
Mutio said most universities are financially crippled and hardly survive without government funding.
"How do you stop funding public universities? Are you planning to turn them into private entities? What will happen to students from humble backgrounds," Mutio paused.
Mutio further tore into Machogu 's sentiments saying most public universities are currently paying their staff only 57 percent of their salaries.
"We hoped that this government would look at the deep financial challenges facing the public universities but it is very regrettable that the CS can start issuing such statements even before he settles down in office," Mutio said.
The union secretary further defended universities saying they have not been able to remit deductions to several entities.
According to the university Fund, Public universities have debts accumulating to Sh56bn.
Public universities owe contractors Sh1.4bn, part-time lecturers Sh4.5bn, suppliers Sh4.8bn, and Sacco contributions Sh4.1bn.
NSSF is owed Sh139m, at NHIF there is Sh2million, loan deductions worth Sh1.3bn, pension schemes Sh18bn and PAYE is owed is Sh13bn, while other loans have accumulated Sh10bn.