Matiang'i in trouble over recent controversial decision

This is a slap in the face of the tough-talking Matiang'i.

In a statement to the press on Thursday, KUSU General Secretary Mr Charles Mukhwaya told off Dr Matiang’i, terming the directive from the tough-talking CS, a 'roadside directive'.

"He has no mandate, legal or otherwise, to dictate universities on how to run their affairs," Mr Mukhwaya said.

He added: "Such a directive will deny universities academic freedom. Let the government withdraw the ill-advised directive."

The Union has argued that the directive by Dr Matiang’i would instead cripple the education sector in the higher institutions of learning.

"The directive will worsen the poor working conditions that already exist in universities and eventually compromise the quality of education,” the Secretary General said in a statement.

On Wednesday Dr Matiang’i ran into murky waters after he instructed all public universities to stop hiring staff on permanent and pensionable terms. The CS added that all workers in public universities would be handed contracts starting January 2018 based on performance, a directive that has sent jitters across the board.

The directive from the CS came hours after a call by Kiambu County Governor Mr Ferdinand Waititu demanded that Kiambu locals should man the state run Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

The decision to stop hiring of university workers on permanent and pensionable terms, Dr Matiang’i said, would be instrumental in cutting off the growing mentality that such jobs should be given out by governors to mop up support for the political endeavors.

The CS, who spoke at Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS), where a forum on the review of the growth and development of public universities is underway, said that university satellite campuses have since been turned into employment trap for votes hunting.

He added that the situation has forced the university heads to employ people of their own choice, irrespective of their ability to perform in the respective positions.

Earlier, Mr Waititu quipped that the positions of Vice Chancellors in public universities in Kiambu should be awarded to locals, after a county assembly vetting, in a move which was set to ruffle feathers with state controlled Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

“KU and JKUAT, for example, are not employing our people. If you go there, the staff are not our people,” Mr Waititu had said.

He added: “We want to make sure that the head of such institutions is recruited through our assembly. We want to ensure that the person who is selected is from Kiambu.”

Mr Waititu had hinted at making major changes to the running of the two institutions, which are currently run by non-locals, crying foul of the loss of jobs at the institutions.

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