Egerton VC Mwonya happy with court’s decision to dismiss council letter

Rose Mwonya Egerton University

Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Professor Rose Mwonya expressed her gratitude with the court’s decision to dismiss the university council letter that had sent her on a compulsory leave.

“With the court judgement, I am happy and will now concentrate on my primary purpose of preparing students for their roles as the future leaders of Kenya,” she said.

She went ahead to assure students and other stakeholders that she would continue adhering to governance structures.

The VC had been mbroiled in a leadership wrangle with the university council, which took her to court over corruption and mismanagement of the university.

She said the wrangles were triggered by an unclear transition plan and lack of goodwill.

“The transition was transformed into a war of attrition with the university caught in the middle. In the process, there has been a concerted effort to smear the innocent as corrupt,” she said.

The Labour court has given the embattled VC a clean bill of health following a long battle over claims of mismanaging the institution.

Prof. Mwonya has been having a legal battle since 2018 when she was sent on a compulsory leave by the institution’s council over misappropriation of university funds.

The court dismissed the university council’s letter that sent Prof Mwonya on compulsory leave as “unlawful and irregular as the rules of natural justice were not complied with”.

This means that Prof. Mwonya will continue discharging her duties as the institution’s Vice-Chancellor.

In her judgement, Justice Monica Mbaru also said the council erred in sending Prof Mwonya on leave as the decision was taken without reference to the appointing authority.

The Council had appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs Prof. Alexander Kahi as the new Egerton VC in acting capacity.

“The council acted outside its legal mandate. Even where there are serious allegations with regard to the conduct of the respondent, and which require the council to investigate an office holder such as the VC, reference to the appointing authority is imperative.”

Justice Mbaru further observed that the office of the VC carries with it statutory functions for the entire institution.

She also pointed out that there was no provision for an acting position unless with the approval of an appointing authority and the Education Cabinet Secretary.

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