The University of Nairobi is facing a leadership crisis after Acting Vice Chancellor Julius Ogeng'o refused to leave office following the return of Professor Stephen Kiama who cut short his six-month leave.
Kiama resumed work on Monday, September 4, as the Vice Chancellor, and expected Ogeng'o to vacate his office but the Acting VC allegedly refused.
According to the University Academic Staff Union (UASU), Professor Ogeng'o seems to have received instructions from the University of Nairobi's Council.
The workers' union is now raising concerns over the leadership wrangles, which they claim are threatening to affect students at the largest institution in the country.
"If there are changes in the leadership of the University of Nairobi, that should be communicated by the Governing Council. It is important to note that the council's word is final," former UASU Secretary General and UoN Staff, Benjamin Omondi stated.
Omondi noted that the University of Nairobi's Governing Council is the source from which Professor Ogeng'o was getting his orders to stay put.
"As it is now, we have a council that is gazetted, and that council enjoys the full mandate of providing checks and balances to the lower level offices.
"We, therefore, do not expect anyone to disregard the council's decision," Omondi warned disgruntled parties in the ongoing leadership wrangles.
Further, the workers' union warned that no one should try to engage in any activities which are likely to interfere with the planning and execution of learning programmes within the institution.
"We do not expect any other level to interfere with the routine learning of the students," the workers' union stated while addressing the media at the institution.
Prof Kiama took leave on August 4, six months, and the university council appointed Prof Ogeng'o as acting VC. However, Prof Kiama returned from leave on Monday, September 4.
The university council has not yet ruled on the matter, and it is unclear who is the legitimate VC of the university. UASU noted that the crisis has caused uncertainty and confusion among students, staff, and stakeholders of the university.