Maverick Students Organization of the University of Nairobi Chairman Babu Owino has urged UoN Vice Chancellor Prof. Peter Mbithi and his Deputy Prof Bernard Njoroge to work together for the sake of students.
This is after it emerged the two top University officials have a long running battle to control finances at the university which has even leaked to the media.
“Correspondence between Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi and his deputy Bernard Njoroge, who is in charge of Administration and Finance, reveals a strained working relationship. In his letter to University Council Chairperson Idle Farah, dated August 4, Prof Njoroge accused Prof Mbithi of meddling in his office administration affairs, adding that he will not be pushed to sycophancy. â€œI am personally seeking protection of the council to facilitate the discharge of the mandate of the office of deputy vice chancellor in charge of administration and finance (DVC A&F) in word and deed and not as the head of a small unit as the Vice Chancellor clearly intends,â€ reads the letter to Dr Farah. He added, â€œSycophancy has no place in the present constitutional dispensation or in my chequered career.â€ The letter was written just hours after Mbithi released new university expenditure guidelines to Njoroge, reports the Standard Newspaper.
It is this turn of events which has led to the warning by Babu Owino to the two university leaders that their continued feuds risks attracting the attention of students.
“I urge them to work together. Because they’ve failed I am always being accused of the bad image the university of Nairobi has now. I was accused of chasing [President] Obama away yet they didn’t even invite him to UoN. If they don’t resolve their squabbles within a week they will have themselves to blame,” Babu told this writer on phone.
Babu warned that students will get involved if they feel the incessant fights are affecting learning.
“The core mandate of the university is to impact knowledge to learners yet they are squabbling over money. When students get involved, the two will be disappointed and other people appointed,” said Owino.
Babu suggests the two should be sacked from university management so as to renew public trust in the university.
“Njoroge should go grow ngwace (potatoes) in his Nyeri farm as Mbithi returns to Ukambani to grow watermelon. Comrades won’t allow,” said Owino, chuckling sheepishly. “I’m not bluffing, I’m serious,” he added.