By Yvonne Chebeni, Kakamega
Meru University Vice Chancellor Romanus Odhiambo has resumed office after his suspension by the University Council was quashed by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.
The Council had sent the VC on compulsory leave on claims of having many accumulated leave days and poor performance.
The council had replaced him with Prof. Charity Gichuki, a Professor of Immunopathology and the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Finance and Planning at the institution in acting capacity.
Bosire Monari, the chairperson of the council in a letter dated March 7 this year stated that they had consulted the ministry of education and the decision to suspend the VC has been rescinded.
“We have consulted the Ministry of Education and our decision to send Prof. Odhiambo on accumulated leave has been rescinded . The council will facilitate Odhiambo’s immediate resumption of office before close of business on Tuesday 7th March,” said Prof Bosire
Prof Bosire in his letter, he further stated that the council together with the University management will work on the reopening of the university by Wednesday.
“The university council together with the university management will work together to facilitate the reopening of the university by 8th march so that the operations can return to normal,” Bosire added
Bosire also stated that they will work for the success of the graduation ceremony scheduled for 11th March. “We will work together with the management to ensure the success of the university‘s 10th Graduation ceremony,”
Mr Machogu, the Education CS in his letter to the council, he directed them to reinstate the embtalled VC with immediate effect.
In a letter dated March 7, Machogu said the decision to send Odhiambo on terminal leave was ill-termed and unlawful because it was made few days to the scheduled graduation ceremony.
“They did not consult the cabinet secretary as required by the law, specifically, section 35  [A] of the university to appoint a vice chancellor,’’ said Mochogu
In the letter, the Education CS directed the university council to rescind its decision to send Odhiambo on terminal leave.
The letter further stated that the current university shall lapse on March 9, this year and the ministry is working on constituting a successor council.
“The term of the current University council shall elapse on 9th March, 2023 in accordance to the law. The council shall, in line with its legal mandate, address the matter of the position of vice chancellor,” Machogu stated in his letter to the council
Against the backdrop, Meru university students have gone on rampage demanding the immediate reinstatement of their VC.
The students took to the street blocking Meru-Maua highway protesting against Odhiambo’s indemnity leave by the university council.
Earlier, Odhiambo was informed by the council that they were not convinced by his performance for them to grant him another five years.
“The university council held on February 27th evaluated your performance and found it to be below expectation therefore the council declined to renew your contract as requested in your letter dated 20th December,” said Bosire in the letter
The council warned Odhiambo that he was only permitted to transact on personal matters for the time being until his replacement is found. “You are not authorized to transact on any capital project in the university but your transactions are restricted only to personal emoluments and recurrent expenditure,”
The letter further read in part: “You are required to proceed on your pending leave of 121 days once a suitable replacement has been identified,”
In a rejoinder, the VC dismissed the council’s assertions saying that Odhiambo he had increased students enrollment by triple and therefore claims of below performance were farfetched.