Egerton University is set to sack lecturers and scrap five degree courses in efforts to remain financially afloat, Vice-Chancellor Isaac Kibwage has said.
The targeted lecturers are those in departments where the degree programmes will be scrapped.
“We have so far identified five degree programs which we intend to scrap. Lecturers in those departments will have to exit and those qualified for other departments retained,” he said.
“The intention is still there. When we were charged for contempt, we were told if we don’t have money we lay off people. The train has left the station but there are steps to be followed as we are the right size. Our current workforce is at 1,457 people,” he added.
According to Prof Kibwage, the institution has been unable to pay its staffers in time, and even service its debts which he says he has inherited from his predecessors.
“Our president has spoken about the financial problems of Universities. It is not like we are refusing to pay full salaries, we are unable. Our problem is historical and I inherited most of our debts,” Prof Kibwage said.
“We recognize that our staff has earned their pay legitimately and it is clearly indicated in their payslips as ‘deferred pay.’ It is their money we will pay when we get sufficient funding. We have not deducted our employee’s pay as it is misrepresented.”
In 2019, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) froze the university’s bank accounts as they sought settlement of a cumulative Ksh670 million tax debt.
Egerton receives Ksh185 million funding from the national government and raises Ksh26 million from other sources including tuition fees paid by students.
“This is against a payroll of Ksh240 million per month and other operational costs. We end up with a deficit every month. This is why we are unable to fully fund our payroll,” said Kibwage.
Egerton’s current debt is at Ksh9.925 billion.