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Varsity appoints team to surrender Kenya Science campus

University of Nairobi (UoN) has finally appointed a seven-member team to spearhead the surrender of its Kenya Science Campus to government, setting stage of conclusion of the exercise that has elicited protests.

Council Chairman, Idle Farah, has submitted the seven names to Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, in a later dated November 24.

It has nominated Prof Isaac Mbeche, Deputy Vice chancellor administration and finance and Prof Horance Ochanda Deputy, Principal, Kenya science Campus to the board.

Others appointed include; George Omondi (University Staff academic Union -Secretary General), Ms Angel Mbuthia Vice-chair, Students organisation of Nairobi University (Sonu), Bernard Waweru academic registrar, Tim Mwesekli Chief legal officer and Fredrick Collins Omondi senior legal officer.

“The names represent the various stakeholders in the university,” said the University Council Chairman.

Dr Matiang’i in a letter to Dr Farah dated September 9, had indicated that the university should surrender the facility to Kenya Technical Trainers College (KTTC) by December 1 adding that the decision to relocate KTTC was strategic.

The Ministry of Education is also working on a memo that will be submitted to the Cabinet for action.

University of Nairobi has received Sh12 billion from the government to set up similar facility which it argues will take five years.

The Commission on administrative Justice (CAJ) has recommended a halt on the plan but has been criticised by Dr Matiang’i for addressing the issues at hand in a prejudicial and totally out of context approach.

The government is turning the 82-acre land of KTTC in Gigiri into a United Nations Complex, insisting that it is honouring its international obligations and commitments to the United Nations by granting them the land to cater for the expansion of the UN Complex in Kenya.

“The decision is also pursuant to various constitutional values and principles on economical and efficient application of public resources in a matter that best protects the overall interests of the Kenyans public,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

However, CAJ Chairman Otiende Amollo said the government will be in breach of the law if it allows the transfer of KTTC premises to UN.

“We note with concern that if that is the case, then the government will be in breach of the law that govern public land. The regime of acquiring public land is clear: it is held in trust by the national or county government and transferred with the approval of the National Land Commission. Beyond issues of transfer, there is need to compensate those affected,” said Mr Amollo.

Dr Matiang’i says the two entities are government institutions and appropriate notices have been issued to the University of Nairobi and the KTTC.

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