Blow to Embattled KU VC, Paul Wainaina as Varsity Names His Replacement

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).

Kenyatta University Council has disregarded orders by the Employment and Labour Relations Court blocking the firing of Vice Chancellor, Paul Wainaina.

In a statement dated Friday, August 5, KU Chairman of Council, Chrispus Kiamba, noted that Wainaina has been replaced by Waceke Wanjohi, who will be the acting VC until a permanent replacement is found.

He urged all the staff members and students to accord Wanjohi all the necessary support to ensure the continued stability of the university.

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and former Kenyatta University Paul Wainaina
President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and former Kenyatta University Paul Wainaina.

"The attention of the university community is drawn to a decision by the Hon. Justice Gakeri of the Employment and Labour Court in Nairobi on 4th August 2022 where the court dismissed an application by Prof. Paul Wainaina for injunctive orders.

"Arising from the above developments, Council has resolved that Prof. Waceke Wanjohi continues as the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University until further notice," the statement read in part.

This comes amid orders by Justice Jacob Gakeri who temporarily barred the suspension of Wainaina and directed the case be placed before any Judge on July 28 for inter parties hearing.

“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 suspending, terminating and/or dismissing the petitioner from the Office of the Vice Chancellor, rendering his position vacant and/or revoking his salary,” ruled Justice Gakeri.

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 Wainaina's employment was a preserve of the University Council.

“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,” the embattled VC told the court through his lawyer.

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

President Uhuru Kenyatta had engaged in a war of words with Wainaina 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.  

Wainaina's dismissal saw the President come under sharp criticism from a section of leaders allied to Deputy President, William Ruto, who accused him of trying to meddle with the running of independent public institutions.

UDA flagbearer William Ruto campaigning in Salgaa, Nakuru county on Monday, August 1, 2022
William Ruto