Kenyatta University VC risks jail for contempt of court

October 13, 2016 6:48 pm
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Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge, Lady Justice Monica Mbaru confirmed that an order compelling Kenyatta University to settle its former Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda’s terminal benefits is still in force/FILE
Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge, Lady Justice Monica Mbaru confirmed that an order compelling Kenyatta University to settle its former Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda’s terminal benefits is still in force/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – The acting Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor, Prof Paul Wainaina risks facing contempt of court charges and civil jail, in coming days for failure to settle the varsity’s immediate former vice chancellor’s terminal benefits.

Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge, Lady Justice Monica Mbaru confirmed that an order compelling Kenyatta University to settle its former Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda’s terminal benefits is still in force.

The mandatory order issued a fortnight ago, Justice Mbaru reiterated is not conditional and must be settled as prescribed.

The former Vice Chancellor’s Lawyer, James Nyiha, was directed to formally move the court for contempt of court proceedings on the part of the Respondents (Kenyatta University and its VC) if any breach of the order continued.

“The orders earlier issued remain in force and the defendants are advised to ensure compliance forthwith,” Justice Mbaru stressed.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court sitting in Nairobi on 29th September 2016 had earlier issued a mandatory order directing Kenyatta University to settle former Vice Chancellor Prof Olive Mugenda’s final dues.

Yesterday morning, Prof Mugenda’s legal team led by Lawyer Nyiha alerted the court at the hearing that the Kenyatta University management had only partially complied with the orders.

The mandatory order compelling the University to settle the dues including Prof Mugenda’s sabbatical leave emoluments arose from the filing of a civil suit on certificate of urgency late last month.

The settlement of the final dues, Justice Mbaru said should be done in line with the exit package earlier approved by the Kenyatta University Council Service Committee, on 17th March 2015 and adopted on 3rd September 2015.

Prof Mugenda’s dues approved by the University Council and benchmarked against exit packages advanced by other public Universities in recent years had been unilaterally withheld, since she left office 6 months ago.

Prof Mugenda served Kenyatta University for over 30 years in different capacities. She rose from a lecturer to a full professor and also served as a dean of school, chairman of department, and deputy vice chancellor before being competitively appointed as vice chancellor from 2006 to 2016.

She is credited with having spearheaded the creation of an enviable academic brand at Kenyatta University and overseeing one of the most successful institutional transformation programmes at a public institution in the region.

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