Matiang’i dismisses critics over Moi University appointment

By KBC Reporters

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i has told off his critics over the appointment of Prof. Laban Ayiro as the acting Vice Chancellor of Moi University. 

Dr. Matiang’i says he followed the University Act 2012 while appointing Prof. Ayiro to the position in a three month’s acting capacity, awaiting the replacement of the institution’s outgoing Vice Chancellor Prof. Richard Mibey.

The Education CS fell short of terming Tuesday’s incident by area politicians as ill informed, saying that he is not ready to engage in tribal politics when it comes to management of the universities.

He spoke as the outgoing Moi University Vice Chancellor Prof. Richard Mibei officially handed over the reins of power to Prof. Ayiro.

During the handing over ceremony, Prof. Ayiro promised 2016 Moi University graduates of tight security during the ceremony following reports that leaders from the region are planning to stop the University’s 32nd graduation slated for this Thursday and Friday.

University Row

The storming of Moi University by leaders from the North Rift protesting the replacement of Professor Richard Mibey as Vice Chancellor was the second incident in a row after a similar one last year involving the Eldoret University.

Locals have always had a consistent demand that one of their own leads the institutions of higher learning as opposed to people they regard as outsiders.

Such cases are likely to set a bad precedent on the management of public universities that have largely been shrouded with a perception of being community universities.

Uasin Governor Jackson Mandago and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos stormed the university protesting the replacement of Professor Richard Mibey as Vice Chancellor with Prof. Laban Ayiro on an acting capacity.

The leaders threatened to stop the upcoming graduation of the university accusing Education Cabinet Secretary of colluding with forces within his ministry to impose outsiders on the institutions.

Their argument was that their preferred candidate Prof. Isaac Kosgey whom they say had emerged top should have been appointed as the Vice chancellor.

The education Ministry argues it has appointed Prof Ayiro to act as Vice Chancellor for three months only.

In July last year locals led by their political leadership stormed the Eldoret University seeking to oust Prof Teresa Akenga whom they accused of employing outsiders in the university while overlooking locals.

Led by the area Senator Isaac Melly the leaders rallied scores of students and locked up the varsity boss’ office in defiance of police orders.

Months later the university would be closed indefinitely over a strike blamed on local political influence. This however continues to be a trend of self-entitlement that is exposing universities to tribal leadership overseen by local politicians.

Though stability has been restored at the Eldoret University, the next battle ground for the North Rift leaders is Moi University.

Politics has also been blamed for near paralysis in leadership at the Nairobi University as well as the existing crisis at the Kenyatta University after the exit of Prof. Olive Mugenda.




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