Prof Magoha taken to Court barely months in his office

When the no nonsense Education CS Prof George Magoha took office, there were a lot of expectations from him. Several changes in the ministry are among the expectations people had from him. But barely a few months since his appointment, Magoha is already crossing lines with some other education stakeholders.

Last week, we saw him engaging in a hard tussle with KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion over the teachers’ training on he new Competence Based Education Curriculum.

Again, Magoha has been sued for revoking the appointment of the Masinde Muliro University council chairman “without following proper procedure”.

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The Kenya Universities Staff Union wants the court to issue orders suspending Prof Magoha’s decision to appoint Dr Jane Mutua as MMUST council chairperson and move  Dr Jeremy Bundi to chair Pwani University council.

The union faults the CS for acting despite knowing that the law does not allow revocation through a ministerial order or Gazette notice. The appointments were gazetted on April 24. 

The union cites sections 36 and 8 of the Universities Act, which bars vacation of office of varsity council chairperson by way of ministerial revocation.

The law also provides that one needs to be appointed to the position of chairperson for a period of three or four years to ensure continuity in the activities of the council. However, Magoha appointed Dr Mutua for a period of 13 months.

“The actions of the Cabinet Secretary for Education in making the impugned decision is akin to a dangerous rodent eating at the very roots of the twin hackneyed and hallowed principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law,” the union says in its suit papers.

On March 10, 2017, then Education CS Fred Matiang’i appointed Dr Mutua, Gift Dzombo, Jack Nyakundi, Moni Wekesa, Joel Yego and Samuel Nyachae to the Pwani University council for a period of three years.

A university council is tasked with hiring staff, approving the statutes, policies and budgets, and appointing vice-chancellors and deputy VCs.

A member’s office becomes vacant if he or she resigns, snubs three consecutive meetings, is unable to perform duties due to mental or physical problems, is declared bankrupt by a court of law, or is found guilty of gross misconduct.

Do you think Prof Magoha will have it easy in the Education docket now that he declared his lack of a reverse gear?

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