The Kenyatta University (KU) Council has on Monday, August 15 announced the sacking of Vice-Chancellor Paul Wainaina.
An internal memo from acting Vice-Chancellor Waceke Wanjohi informed staff and students of Wainaina’s dismissal. It further told them to disregard any directives from the former Vice-Chancellor.
“Further to the earlier communication from the Kenyatta University Council, I write to inform you that the council vide a letter to Prof. Paul K. Wainaina, resolved to summarily dismiss him from service with effect from 5th August 2022,” the memo seen by Business Today read in part.
Staff and students were urged to ensure that activities at the university continued to run smoothly. Kenyatta University had been ordered by a court in July to reinstate the suspended Vice Chancellor.
Wainaina’s woes began after he raised questions on a move by the government to hive off part of the public university’s land to host, among other things, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Hub. Poking holes in the process, he refused to comply with a directive from Head of the Civil Service Joseph Kinyua who wrote to him to surrender the title for Kenyatta University LR No. 1102/26 for the land to be hived off as directed by the Cabinet.
The WHO hub is scheduled for completion in three years. It is expected to function as a regional hub. The Kenyan government has allocated 12.4 hectares (30.64 acres) with a committed fund of $5 million (Ksh600 million) for the project.
President Uhuru Kenyatta hit out at public officials over alleged land mismanagement at an event in July in what was widely perceived as an attack on Wainaina.
“We have individuals who are very ignorant and behave as if they have never entered a classroom… they don’t understand that Kenya has never operated in isolation. We shall deal with those individuals swiftly and very effectively,” he stated.
A Nairobi court on August 12 eventually allowed the State to hive off 410 acres of Kenyatta University land. Justice Oscar Angote ruled that the government had good intentions for the land which could not be halted.