MIXED REACTIONS OVER THE UNSETTLED APPOINTMENT OF MOI UNIVERSITY’S VICE CHANCELLOR

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Moi University administration block.

By Brian Murimi

Moi University students have received the news of a pending Vice Chancellor’s appointment with mixed reactions.

On Saturday morning, the students woke up to a newspaper story that had been shared across multiple WhatsApp groups associated with the institution. The story claimed that the Education Cabinet Secretary is expected to appoint Laikipia’s Deputy Vice Chancellor – Administration, Finance and Development, Prof. Kosgei to head the institution after having no substantive VC for a period of two years.

The appointment would see Prof. Kosgei replace the acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Laban Ayiro.

On 27th November 2017, interviews were conducted for six candidates who had successfully applied for the position of VC. The results of the six – Prof. Isaac Kosgei, Prof. Laban Ayiro, Prof. Anne Nangulu, Prof. Anne Amutabi, Prof. Isaac Kibwage and Prof. Joseph Chacha – were released to the public on 29th November 2017 with Professors Kosgei, Ayiro and Nangulu taking the top three positions respectively.

The Cabinet Secretary for education is expected to choose one of the top three applicants after receiving the results from the university’s council.

The scoring summary for the interviews became a controversy as people concluded that the resulting had been influenced by tribe and politics. A great number of netizens claimed that Prof. Laban Ayiro was fit to take over as the substantive VC but he scored lower than Prof. Kosgei after three of the panelists awarded him lower scores than his counterpart despite getting higher scores from the other panelists.

A picture of the scoring summary seen by The Communicator saw the three panelists award Prof. Ayiro an average score of 45.7 while Prof. Kosgei had 93.7 in average. Prof. Ayiro got an average of 82.5 from the other five panelists while Prof. Kosgei got an average of 65.6.

According to a story in one of the dailies, Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago stormed Moi University accompanied by other leaders on September 20th 2016 and vowed to disrupt the university’s graduation slated for the same week unless Prof. Isaac Kosgei was appointed the institution’s vice-chancellor.

Concerns have been expressed by a number of students over the appointment that is in limbo.

“I smell a rat in this, only time will tell whether Amina’s appointment was legit.” One student told the publication.

“Prof. Laban Ayiro was doing so well. He had started various projects around the institution and it was a sign of good things to come. With the news of the appointment, we hope that it won’t stop there.” A student who would not want her name published said.

Prof. Laban Ayiro during his heydays as the acting vice chancellor in his maiden oration, he promised to rebrand Moi University. Construction of new lecture halls, hostels, laboratories, offices, recreational facilities and a 6000 seater amphitheater, common spaces, lighting up the university, a new ultra-modern gate and a wall around the university were some of the promises he had made. Prof. Laban Ayiro kept his promises with a wall erected, the university’s pathways lit, construction of a new lecture theatre at the school of arts, construction of the new gate among others.

Deemed as social, the exit of Prof. Laban Ayiro has seemed not to augur well with most students.

“We as Moi University students, for the sake of peace and development in our beloved university, humbly request you to retain Prof. Laban Ayiro otherwise it will take you centuries to restore peace in the institution.” One social media user wrote to CS Amina Mohammed.

“If not Ayiro, then it should be Ayiro.” tweeted Monicah Eshihanda.

However, some social media users were quick to congratulate Prof. Isaac Kosgei on his unsettled appointment.

“At long last. Congratulations Arap Kosgei.” Limo Caleb wrote on Facebook.

“All the best. Sir, make Moi great again. They don’t need to study for six years to earn a degree.” Son Tendenei reacted.

Some students preferred to keep tight-lipped on the issue and hoped for the very best.

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