Varsity placement boss sent on terminal leave

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 00:00 |
The KUCCPS board chairman Joe Ager presents the acting CEO Mercy Wahome with appointment letters at the agency’s offices in Nairobi. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps) yesterday advertised the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Incumbent, Dr John Muraguri has since been sent on terminal leave ahead of his retirement, though his term is expected to expire in March next year.

As the board Chairperson, Joe Ager advertised vacancy in the dailies, he also unveiled Research, Strategy and Knowledge manager, Mercy Wahome, who will serve as CEO on an acting capacity until a substantive candidate is appointed.

“The placement service now seeks to recruit a CEO to the board to manage and direct operations of Kuccps Secretariat for the full realisation of the corporation’s mandate and accomplishment of its goals while observing the expected standards of integrity, accountability and ethics,” read the advert.

Suitable candidates must have a minimum of 15 years relevant work experience and at least 10 years distinguished career in senior management position in a reputable institution either in private or public sector.

Candidates must also have a Bachelors degree from a recognised institution as well as a Master’s degree in education, business, social sciences or any other equivalent qualifications.

The successful candidate is to be engaged on a five—year contract renewable once subject to satisfactory performance.

Interested candidates must send to their applications by December 8.

In September, concerns emerged on the status of the placement board over row reportedly pitting top officials on procurement of a server worth Sh13 million for processing critical data under its mandate.

Muraguri sued the board over what he termed as witch-hunt and endless attempts to push him out of the board, even though he is qualified to serve for another term.

According to Muraguri’s advocate Mwaniki Gachuba, the problem began when the CEO applied for an extension of his tenure in September last year, six months to end of his term.

Academic requirements

Gachuba said the friction between the board and the CEO specifically emanated from procurement of servers in 2018, long before the current Chairman came in, which was an open tender and a number of people participated.

“Credibility of Kuccps critical mandate is at stake here. The Chairman is abusing his powers driven by malice.

It has emerged that people are not able to alter placements to universities as they would have wanted and someone is trying to interfere with the reforms made so far in the Kuccps,” said Gachuba, in September.

The board, which was reportedly been divided down the middle, sought to take disciplinary action against the CEO and some members of staff.

The CEO, four members of staff who sat in the evaluation and two in the tender committee were yesterday summoned to the board to explain the contract process, which the board termed as flawed. But Muraguri insisted there was no basis for any disciplinary action against him.

The board accused Muraguri of knowingly awarding illegal contract to Konvergenz company, which they claimed failed to qualify and comply with tender specifications, thus ineligible for award of contract to supply servers.

But Muraguri dismissed the accusations saying due process was followed in awarding the contract.

Muraguri said award of tender to supply two servers to Konvergenz was legal by virtue of Article 226 of the Constitution, read with Section 44(2)(f) of the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Act, regulations of the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations 2006 and Public Finance Management Act, 2012.

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