By Collins Matubwi
Lectures at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) kicked out the entire leadership of the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) for running down the institution with ‘petty politics’.
The former leadership was also accused of bringing instability to the institution in last three years with protracted court; the reason the varsity is not having substantial office bears for the post of Vice Chancellor and his three deputies.
Dr Bernard Omogo won the Secretary General seat with a landslide victory after garnering 144 votes against Robison Oduma who got 91 votes. Mr. Oduma prior to the elections was serving as Uasu Chairman.
Dr Humphrey Agevi was elected as Assistant Secretary General after he garnered 182 votes against incumbent Henry Lianda who got 56 votes.
Dr Jairus Odawa who is the new Uasu Chaiman got 153 votes after beating Agatha Mbakaya who bagged 80 votes while Consolata Lusweti was elected as the Vice Chairperson after garnering 148 votes against incumbent Atichi Alati’s 86 votes.
Philip Amuyunzu was elected as the Organising Secretary after he got 148 votes against his closet challenger Jason Momanyi who garnered 91 votes whereas Dr Rose Opiyo (85 votes) lost the Treasurer position to Dr Angeline Savala (155 votes).
The exercise was presided over by Abdallah Swale from Kakamega Labour Office.
“This election was not about winning but to restore sanity in the university. We are going to move away from the leadership of conflicts with the management to that of engagement and negotiations,” said Dr Odawa, the new Uasu Chairman.
Dr Odawa said they are going to support the government in the recruitment of substantive Vice Chancellor and his three deputies in a bid to ensure seal the leadership vacuum that has been inexistence for the last three years.
“We want the government to appoint top managers of the university and we shall support the process and we shall work with whoever will be appointed so long he or she qualifies to the position appointed to. We want to see peaceful discussions among ourselves in order to deliver results to our people,” said Odawa.
Dr Bernard Omogo, the new Uasu Mmust branch secretary said they would work to foster good working relationship between the unions and the management in order to deliver what they promised to their members during the campaign period.
“We understand the challenges that we have gone through as Uasu Mmust Chapter and we are ready to face more challenges that will come. Members have spoken through the ballot and we shall work through unity to deliver,” said Omogo.
The institution has been without a substantive VC since December 1, 2018 following the exit of Prof Fredrick Otieno (now deceased).
Since then, the institution has had three acting vice chancellors with the current one being Prof Solomon Shibairo, formerly Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academics and Students Affairs at Kibabii University.
Shibairo, a professor of horticulture, took over from Prof Asenath Sigot who had held the position for nine months. She succeeded Prof Joseph Bosire in July last year who held the position for seven months.