Prof Kiama pledges to steer massive reforms at UoN

Friday, January 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Embattled University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Stephen Kiama poses for selfie photos with the institution’s first year students after an induction session yesterday. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

Irene Githinji and Bernice Mbugua

Embattled University of Nairobi (UoN) Vice Chancellor Stephen Kiama yesterday committed to steer massive reforms to improve management of the institution’s departments and urged students to be at the centre of the transformation.

His remarks come even as High Court  barred Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha from appointing any person as chairperson and member to the university council.

In what appeared to be a clearly set out agenda he is to embark on, Prof Kiama said there will be wide range reforms on data management of the entire university’s information system.

Data management

He said better data management would go a long way in ensuring that challenges such as missing marks for students are done away with, once and for all.

“We must have a robust data management system in this era, we must ensure data is well integrated as part of the wide reforms we will undertake.

The issue of missing marks will be a thing of the past, we do not want this kind of culture to continue,” said Kiama.

Also as part of his agenda, the don assured students that the practise of expelling and suspending students without a hearing will no longer be tolerated, saying better mechanisms of reforming students must be developed.

“This is a practise we must revisit. We need to focus on reforming students because that is our business so that talents they have are not wasted…we must nurture them,” said Kiama.

Kiama said under his tenure, he will oversee several financial reforms, to ensure monies are aligned to functions set out, to avoid wastage.

“The several financial reforms we are to undertake will ensure funds are properly aligned to our functions.

All funds must be aligned to our functions and mandate. We will downsize structures to ensure money goes to the core functions which includes learning and research,” he said.

He spoke during an induction session of the 1,600 first year students, held at UoN’s Taifa Hall.

Earlier in the day, Kiama presided over yet another function, a climate change symposium, held at the UoN towers.

Both functions required the presence of the VC and Kiama took up the role, with his counterpart, Isaac Mbeche nowhere to be seen.

Kiama has been actively involved in running the institution since the court halted the order to revoke his appointment on Monday.

However, Prof Magoha contested the decision, even as the Employment and Labour court declined to lift the orders it issued on Monday.

Justice Maureen Onyango said she cannot reverse the orders she issued and instead directed that the case be heard inter-party today.

Effecting appointment

In court yesterday, Justice Pauline Nyamweya issued the order after Julia Ojiambo-led University of Nairobi Council moved to court to challenge the revocation of their appointment by CS Magoha.

“Pending inter partes hearing, the first respondent (Magoha) is restrained from effecting appointment of any person as chairperson and member of the Council of University of Nairobi,” ruled the judge.

The embattled council members, include chairperson Prof Ojiambo and members Flora Mtuweta Mighulo Maghanga, Jocelyn Marie Rarieya, Hassan Abdi Mohamud, Isaac Chebon Kiprop and Eng Kariuki Muchemi.

Through lawyer Fred Ngatia, the council says it was appointed via a Gazette notice of September 2018, for a period of three years with effect from September 6, 2018.

The council members and their chairperson claim that the actions of CS Magoha are unlawful, irrational, are in breach of the rules of natural justice. The case will be heard inter-party on February 4.

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