Management changes at the UoN as Mbeche now retires as finance chief - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Management changes at the UoN as Mbeche now retires as finance chief

UoN Profs Isaac Mbeche and Peter Mbithi
The University of Nairobi has announced the retirement of Prof Isaac Meroka Mbeche, who had acted as vice-chancellor and later got embroiled in a leadership tussle with the current head of the institution.
Prof Mbeche’s retirement as deputy vice-chancellor (finance, planning and development) was announced by the current VC, Prof Stephen Kiama.
“Consequently, Prof Mbeche, having left the university through retirement ... the post is now vacant,” Prof Kiama said in a statement.
Prof Mbeche was in July last year appointed to act as VC after the university council rejected Prof Peter Mbithi’s bid to serve for a second term.
He was in charge of the university during the transition when the council, through the Public Service Commission, conducted the process of appointing a new VC.
Prof Mbeche was among the shortlisted candidates including the eventual appointee, Prof Kiama, Prof Bernard Njoroge, Prof Madara Ogot and Prof Patricia Kameri Mbote. Others were Prof Kareithi Ruth Wanjiru Nduati, Prof Elijah Omwenga and Prof Solomon Igosangwa Shibairo.
However, Education CS George Magoha spoiled the party for Prof Kiama when he revoked his appointment only four days before his installation as VC and recalled Prof Mbeche from his annual leave.
He also dissolved the university council headed by Dr Julia Ojiambo arguing that it had erred in making Prof Kiama VC without consultation and input from President Uhuru Kenyatta. The council contested the move in court and were granted stay orders.
The move set the stage for a protracted court battle as Prof. Kiama went to the Employment and Labour Relations Court to stop block the CS from ousting him. Prof Magoha (himself a former VC at the institution) later backed down and withdrew his countersuit, paving the way for Prof Kiama.
“I leave management with my head held high after a sterling career in which I spent 23 years in senior management,” Prof Mbeche told the Nation on phone.
The don, who will be 68 on August 22, revealed that he had opted for early retirement but would continue teaching and supervising PhD students. The mandatory retirement for academic staff is 70 but they can elect to retire early upon reaching 65 years.
“I’m still a professor. I’m the only full professor of management science at the Department of Management Science in the School of Business. The department still requires me especially in the supervision of PhD students,” Prof. Mbeche said.
Prof Madara Ogot, the DVC, Research, Innovation and Enterprise and who has been acting in Prof Mbeche’s absence, will continue acting until a substantive DVC is appointed.
Prof Mbeche had also served in other capacities including DVC Students Affairs and as the principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
“I’d like to make sure that we have more students graduating with PhDs in management science to make a bigger impact in the country and in the region,” he said.
Prof Kiama told the Nation that the university council will meet soon to kick-start the process of appointing a substantive DVC to replace Prof Mbeche. The recruitment will be done through the Public Service Commission.

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