Upon Kiama’s Return UoN Encounters Leadership Difficulties
Upon Kiama’s Return UoN Encounters Leadership Difficulties. At the University of Nairobi, a crisis is developing as two top employees each assert that they are the rightful Vice-Chancellor. After only three weeks of his six-month vacation, Professor Stephen Kiama, who had been granted permission by the university council, returned to his employment. The council had designated Julius Ogeng’o, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as the interim VC during his absence.
Importantly, neither the council’s decision to give Prof. Kiama’s leave nor the selection of Prof. Ogeng’o as acting VC has been reversed. Due to this circumstance, both Professors Ogeng’o and Kiama have proclaimed their entitlement to occupy the VC’s office.
Prof. Kiama contends that he doesn’t require council approval to resume work and justifies his return by pointing to his five-year contract. However, he did let the council know about his return. The Universities Act and the charter of the University of Nairobi both provide that the council must give permission before Prof. Kiama can resume his responsibilities.
Unknown reasons were given for the sudden cancellation of a council meeting that was supposed to take place on Saturday. It’s important to note that Prof. Kiama was not invited to the meeting in the letter setting it up.
There are signs that the disagreements within the institution could have political repercussions, which could force the council meeting to be postponed.
Since Prof. Kiama’s leave request letter didn’t mention the number of days he still had left, there have been concerns raised about its contents. He asked for annual leave beginning on August 1, 2023, in his original letter dated July 28, 2023, so that he may use up his accrued leave days before the end of his contract.
However, Prof. Kiama indicated in a second letter to the Council dated August 31 that the problems that had prompted his leave request, including personal health concerns, had been remedied, enabling him to resume his responsibilities as Vice Chancellor with effect from September 1, 2023. There were copies of this letter sent to important people.