By S O
There was a feeling among the University of Nairobi ‘high altitude’ intelligentsia that with the exit Luo (Luhya?) George Odhiambo Magoha, the next occupant of the VC ought to ‘naturally’ gone to mountain. Therefore, when Prof Peter Mbithi, a kamba, emerged tops, he was a marked man.
With his appointment; three candidates emerged for the post of DVC. These were Isaac Kibwage of the college of Health Sciences, Enos Njeru who was the principal of Humanities and Social sciences and Benard Njoroge who was the principal of the college of Architecture and Engineering.
For some reason, deservedly or not, Prof. Benard Njoroge got the appointment.
Ordinarily, looking at the ethnic composition of top administrative positions at the university, Prof Enos Njeru, a mbeere, ought to have become the new DVC.
This was because -of the three candidates whose names made it to the top – he would fill the ‘face of kenya’ requirement stashed somewhere in our constitution.
Prof Kibage didn’t fit because there was already a Kisii, Prof Isaac Mbeche, DVC student affairs.
Prof. Njoroge was completely out of the equation because Prof. Lucy Irungu was already a DVC, Research.
Had either Kibage or Njoroge been appointed; it would mean that out of the four DVCships at UoN, there would be two Kisiis or two Kikuyus.
It appeared, surely, that lady luck was on Prof. Njeru’s case. But Kenya being Kenya, Njoroge got appointed DVC. It so happened that Njoroge had a powerful big brother in places that mattered – a man called Joseph Njoroge, PS Energy!
See, the appointment of Bernard Njoroge ensured that at the University of Nairobi, kikuyus now held the post of DVC-Research (Lucy Irungu), DVC-Finance and Administration (Benard Njoroge), Chief Finance (Michael Karue), Chief Internal Auditor (Mr. Igiria Njoroge), Chief Legal Officer (Rebecca Wambui Ngondo), Chief security officer (Mr. Wahome), Dean of students (Fr.Kimani Wamugunda) and even Academic Registrar BM Waweru among
This same Njoroge – now making noise -had just been promoted to full professorship three weeks before the interviews were called.If experience still counted, perharps, Prof Kibwage (7 years as Professor) or Njeru (8 years as a Professor) would have sufficed.
In terms of administration, it so happened that Njoroge had not even served as a dean of any school. Kibwage had served as Dean of School of Pharmacy and the principal of College of Health Sciences. Njeru was leading the school with 70% of all students joining UoN -College of Humanities – OVER 45,000 students, 800 staff members, 5 campuses.
But Njoroge got the job all the same!
First forward to now and this same Njoroge is questioning Prof Mbithi’s moral, or any other authority, to promote Prof. Peter Njau as the Principal, College of College of Architecture and Engineering.
For a man whose appointed was that murky, one gets the feeling that some people have no sense of shame.
Kikuyu hegemony at UoN is a historical fact. President Daniel Moi’s decision to start a second public university in Kenya -Moi University -stemmed from this very issue. Read the finer details of the McKay Report.
Anyway, the whole fight at UoN is that Kikuyus feel Prof. Mbithi shouldn’t control the institution. It’s that simple. See how Daily Nation has today given Njoroge a whole page to explain himself and accuse Mbithi of all sorts of indiscretions? See how the Star -the alleged NIS preferred propaganda leaflet ever since Bogonko Bosire vanished without a trace -has already accused Mbithi of tribalism?
So Mbithi appointed one Kamba and its such a fuss. How about the list above?
” I want to be very clear here — a politics thatâ€™s based solely on tribe and ethnicity is a politics that’s doomed to tear a country apart.It is a failure — a failure of imagination” -President Barack Obama. [Many of you CHEERED].