By Victor Muyakane
Public universities across the country have started to shut down as the current impasse between the lecturers and the government shows no signs of speedy resolution.
In a circular, Karatina University has announced the suspension of its second semester 2016/2017 academic year activities and instructed students to vacate the institution immediately. The circular cited the current University academic staff Union -UASU strike that has paralyzed operations at the university.
Laikipia University has instructed its entire staff to go on compulsory leave beginning 2nd of February citing the UASU strike as well.
The heads of departments have been instructed to approve leave for all workers at the institution for at least ten days until further notice, leaving just skeleton staff and essential services active at the institution.
The strike seems to progress full tilt ahead with the lecturers now accusing the government of reluctance to resolve the industrial dispute.
University of Nairobi union member George Omondi has cited the alleged failure by the government to present a counter offer and that the government has made no move to invite the unions to discuss the union’s proposal presented to the government as a clear sign of the process being one sided.
UoN students have demonstrated in solidarity with the lecturers, themselves demanding for a swift return to academic pursuits.
The public universities collective forum IUCCF has also declined to withdraw a suit they had filed against the government as insurance against what they perceive as the government’s reluctance to constructively engage with the lecturers over their demands