Blow to Uhuru After Court Rules on K.U VC Wainaina's Sacking

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and former Kenyatta University Paul Wainaina
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and former Kenyatta University Paul Wainaina.
  • A move by President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Paul Wainaina has been dealt a blow by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

    This is after the court, reinstated Prof Wainaina to his position after he was suspended for refusing to cede part of Kenyatta University’s land to the State for a proposed development project.

    Justice Jacob Gakeri on Tuesday, July 26, issued the temporary order barring the suspension of Wainaina and directed the case be placed before any judge on July 28 for inter parties hearing.

    A collage image of President Uhuru Kenyatta (LEFT) and Prof Paul Wainaina (RIGHT).
    A collage image of President Uhuru Kenyatta (LEFT) and Prof Paul Wainaina (RIGHT).

    “Pending hearing and determination of this application inter-parties, this honourable court is pleased to issue a temporary order suspending the implementation of the decision contained in the letter dated July 12 by Professor Crispus Kiamba in toto suspending, terminating and/or dismissing the petitioner from the Office of the Vice-chancellor, rendering his position vacant and/or revoking his salary,” he ruled.

    His lawyer Manwa Hosea had asked the court to issue a conservatory order suspending the decision contained in a letter dated July 12, by Professor Crispus Kiamba that suspended the VC and appointed Prof Waceke Wanjohi in an acting capacity.

    Hosea further urged the court to issue orders barring the advertisement of the position of Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

    Further, Hosea pleaded with the court to stop the implementation of the new university’s council decision that suspended Prof Wainaina over alleged gross misconduct and insubordination. 

    Prof Wainaina, through his lawyer, filed a petition seeking the court’s order barring the enforcement of the orders issued by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua arguing that the termination of Prof Wainaina's employment was a preserve of the University Council.

    “The Head of Public Service continues to act in a manner that completely flouts the provisions of the law on the rights of the applicant and continues to breach his right to fair labour practices,” Hosea told the court.  

    “An injustice has been perpetrated upon the applicant herein and this honourable court should remedy the said injustice by the Head of Public Service by urgently staying the impugned suspension,” he added.

    Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina
    Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina

    This comes amid a backlash by President Uhuru Kenyatta who called out the university management for opposing plans to cede part of the institution’s land to the World Health Organization to build the Ksh600 million emergency hub that would cater for its regional operations.  

    Kenyatta University had complained that the proposed facility was to be constructed without the university’s permission and the 200 acres where the hub was to be built were already set aside for other development projects.

    During the commissioning of the WHO emergency hub, President Kenyatta snappily slammed those opposed to the hub project arguing that the land belongs to Kenyans and not individuals.