Politics

Why UoN Students Want VC Kiama Axed

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University of Nairobi students have petitioned Education cabinet secretary George Magoha to remove vice-chancellor Kiama Gitahi and disband the university council. In a letter dated March 4 and signed by James Wamban, a UoN student and president Kenya University Students Organisation, they said following the ongoing much suffering of the students, the VC must go.

They accused Kiama of mismanagement of the UoN under the watch of the university council without recognising the constitutional right as enshrined in article 37 of the constitution of Kenya 2010. The letter which was copied to principal secretary ministry of Education, Public Service Commission, Inspector General State Corporation, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, national assembly, Office of the Ombudsman, Kuso patron Kent Libiso and Kuso board, demands for the immediate removal of Kiama and the disbandment of the university council.

They accuse the VC of corruption, misuse of funds, lack of accountability, nepotism, tribalism and sexual harassment. Kiama is accused of disposing of university properties without proper procedures where his friends and relatives are the beneficiaries. They said the VC is inaccessible, micromanages of the university like a self-proprietorship kiosk with rude and arrogant dictatorial leadership styles.

The students indicted the VC of failure to attract skilled, competent and qualified lecturers. They said he is incompetent and intimidates students who suffer in silence adding that a student leader has to be selected (imposed) and appointed in total disregard of the rules and regulations. They said students suffer in silence or else they get expelled or are threatened by security within the university. The students blamed the VC for constant power blackouts and water shortages in the university including in the University Tower and said that the few students in session are suffering big time with one meal a day or no meal at all.

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They said they have medical problems where students are turned back from the university clinic and that there are no ambulances for emergency. They said there are insecurity problems where students die in mysterious and suspicious manner, sometimes they are picked within the university compound in the morning dead like chicken.

The university which is in the city has porous fence and in some areas no fence at all, no street lights on pathways and tunnels are danger spots. Prof Kiama was blamed for dirty and unmaintained hostels, no security patrols, constant deaths of students. They said majority of the students are forced to stay at home with imposed online classes yet they are paying full school fees including medical, sports, activity, library, computer laboratory and for all activities.

Majority of poor students who cannot afford high speed internet, laptops or smart phones at home have no option but to defer the academic year or drop out. The students told Prof Magoha to give them a good VC who will uphold the core values of good corporate governance, professionalism, freedom of thought and expression and national cohesion.


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