, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 — Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has defended his appointment of Laban Ayiro as the Acting Vice Chancellor of Moi University and told those disgruntled with his decision to ‘grow up’ since he had followed the law.
Matiang’i told reporters on Wednesday that the correct procedure was followed in the appointment in line with the Universities Act, 2012.
“In doing that work, there is law that we follow. There is statute. The management of Universities, the appointment of Vice Chancellors is governed by the Universities Act 2012. What I need someone to do is to pull out that Act and point out the mistake that I have made. That is all.
“As a country, we also have to grow up and deal with things differently because this is a straight forward matter covered by statute.”
Local leaders wanted the Education CS to immediately appoint a substantive VC for Moi University, based on merit, arguing that it is wrong to appoint an acting VC when the University Council concluded the recruitment process.
Matiang’i categorically stated that he would not respond to them since their queries were political and he is a public servant who followed due process.
“I have followed the law to the letter, so someone should pull out the statute and tell me Minister, you have erred here. That is the kind of question that I would like to respond to,” he stated.
“I cannot respond to politics because I am not a politician and I cannot engage political leaders. The law does not allow me to do that in the first place and I am not one of them so I cannot engage in the kind of conversation they have.”
The leaders went up in arms over what they termed as the appointment of an outsider to the post but Matiang’i stated that it was not a political post.
“I do not actually know what you want me to say about the appointment of the Vice Chancellor at the Moi University but I signed the letter. I did. I do not like participating in these kinds of things. You must draw a line between politics and the technical work we do,” the CS responded. “I cannot respond to political leaders because I am not one of them. I am dealing with the technical work I have been asked to do as a public servant by the President.”
Matiang’i however urged the leaders not to politicise the process but focus on the gains to be made by appointing a qualified individual as the Vice Chancellor.
The approval of Ayiro was made following a request by the Moi University Council in a letter dated, September 19, 2016 seeking Matiang’i’s approval to appoint from a list of three professors, one person as an Acting Vice Chancellor following the ending of Mibey’s tenure as Vice Chancellor of the University.
The three included Laban Ayiro, Daniel Tarus and Isaac Kimengi.
Ayiro before his appointment was the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Planning; Prof. Tarus is Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance while Prof. Kimengi is Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic.
The appointment, according to the Chairman of the University Council, is for a period of three months or until such a time as the substantive Vice Chancellor shall have been appointed.
The process of appointing a substantive Vice Chancellor is on-going.
Mibey has been at the helm of Moi University as Vice Chancellor for ten years.