EDITORIAL: Universities the face of Kenya, don’t tribalise education

Kenyatta university. Photo/Monicah Mwangi
Kenyatta university. Photo/Monicah Mwangi

The growth of public universities in Kenya has been phenomenal, opening up opportunities for higher education.

From the days when The University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology were the only choices, we now have 22 public universities.

Any institution, be it public or private, is only as good as its leadership.

Vice-chancellors, as the most senior academic and administrative officers, are the

chief executive officers in universities

and their appointments must be made strictly on merit and not based on tribal or political considerations.

It is saddening and shameful when politicians tribalise the appointment of VCs.

The latest such absurd demand is from sections of Western Kenya leaders that the new Masinde Muliro University vice-chancellor must be a Luhya — no 'outsiders' will be accepted 'or else'. (See Page 28)

Similar scenarios have played out in the past at Moi University, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University and the University of Eldoret.

Leading world universities did not build their reputations on ethnic or racial appointments but on sound management and emphasising intellectual achievements.

Politicians must keep off the running of public universities and leave this to the people who know best.

Quote of the Day: “Power is a tool, influence is a skill; one is a fist, the other a fingertip.”

Nancy Gibbs

The American journalist was born on January 25, 1960.