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Court told Matiang’i violated law on VC’s appointment

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has been sued by a Nairobi resident over illegal appointment of Paul Musili Wambua as Chancellor of Embu University last year.

Mr David Mutinda Mumo filed the petition at Employment and Labour Relations court in Nyeri under a certificate of urgency.

Through lawyer John Gitibi, Mr Mumo told Judge Byram Ongaya that the appointment violated Section 38 (4) of the Universities Act terming it inconsistent and irregular.

The judge certified the case urgent.

Mr Mumo argued that the appointment was not competitive, fair and transparent as there was no public participation to scrutinise the candidates.
He further complained of the Chancellor’s integrity and moral character.

Mr Gitibi said it had been discovered that there are three pending cases at the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) disciplinary committee filed against the VC between 2015 and 2017.

“There is also a judgment from the Committee where the Chancellor was convicted over misappropriating some funds. He also has a case involving misappropriation of some Sh6 million. Plus a formal complaint at the Committee from the Banking Fraud Investigating Unit where he is alleged to have issued cheques from his law firm which were drawn from a dormant account,” said Lawyer Gitibi.

He told the court that the Education Cabinet Secretary made irregular appointments and recommended to the President one name contrary to the law.

He said the exercise was a handpicking, since the CS failed to make public the names of the other two individuals recommended to the President alongside Prof Wambua for the position.

“The CS was supposed to pick three candidates after a competitive recruitment process and send to the President. But he failed to advertise the position and no interviews were conducted,” said the lawyer while urging court to declare the appointment null and void.

Prof Wambua was appointed under gazette notice number 8310 dated October 7, 2016 and published in Kenya Gazette.

“Had the position been advertised and had the public participation been allowed, the CS Education would have discovered the Professor is not suited to hold a public office based on the criteria set out in the Universities Act,” added the lawyer.

The petitioner also named the Attorney General as respondent in the matter and the VC as an interested party.

The case will be heard on April 21.

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