Staff Salaries Delay as Crisis at Kenyatta University Worsens

The entrance to Kenyatta University main campus located along Thika Road.
The entrance to Kenyatta University's main campus located along Thika Road.

Members of staff at Kenyatta University are a worried lot following a delay in payment of their October monthly salaries.

In an Internal memo dated Monday, November 7, the acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Paul Okemo, explained that the hold up was caused by a delay in monthly capitation by the Ministry of Education.

Prof Okemo added that the University heavily relies on monthly recurrent grants from the Ministry of Education to pay salaries and wages, and urged employees to be patient as they await funds from the Ministry.

Inside KUTV studio at Kenyatta University.
Inside KUTV studio at Kenyatta University.

"We wish to confirm that we are yet to receive the October 2022 capitation to enable us pay the October salaries," he announced.

Latest available data estimates that the University employees northwards of 3,200 both staff and administrative workers who are all affected by the hitch.

Recently, KU hit headlines following a serious financial crisis that crippled some of it's services.

In a separate memo dated Tuesday, October 25, the institution also announced plans to shut down it's television station, Kenyatta University Television (KU TV), stopping all live and recorded shows with immediate effect due to the cash-flow problems.

In 2021 the Auditor General Nancy Gathungu revealed that the university accumulated financial arrears of Ksh677 million in the year to June 2019 expounding its total debt to Ksh1.3 billion. The deficit then forced the university to rely on short term loans to finance its operations.

Despite a celebrated return of embattled Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Wainaina to the main campus on Thursday November 3, following the settlement of a dispute that led to his exit, the university woes still continue to deepen, pending a permanent solution.

The news also came after new Education Cabinet Secretary(CS) Ezekiel Machogu unveiled plans to cut funding for public universities in a bid to push the institutions to raise alternative sources of income to ease pressure on the government.

He urged the cash-strapped institutions to turn to research, innovation and technology to create solutions that will generate income to rescue themselves from the devastating crisis.

The University Academic Staff Union (UASU) however, termed Machogu's remarks as reckless, citing insufficient funding from government as one of the reasons the institutions are in a dire state.

The union criticised the move, as one that will negatively affect students that hail from economically disadvantaged families, by denying them their right to Education.

"If public universities are given free will to charge fees at a market rate this will be very expensive, meaning university education will only be accessed by the rich and we will not allow that," UASU Secretary General Constanine Wasonga strongly proclaimed.

Public Universities in the country have found themselves in deep financial constraints blamed on the dwindling figures of privately sponsored students, mismanagement and low State funding.

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