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How Naivasha trip sparked ugly power struggles at Uon

University of Nairobi’s embattled Deputy Vice-Chancellor Bernard Njoroge says the dispute between him and his boss started when he reduced the money the institution’s senate wanted to spend during a past retreat.

“Problems started when I slashed the budget for the retreat in Naivasha in August from Sh13 million to Sh10 million,” Prof Njoroge, who is in charge of finance and administration, told National Assembly’s Education Committee on Thursday.

PARTISAN

He accused the vice-chancellor, Prof Peter Mbithi, of going against commitments the university management had made to reduce spending in the face of a Sh2.4 billion budget deficit.

Prof Njoroge also blamed the university council, headed by Mr Idle Farah, of being partisan in the dispute.

He laid bare details of disagreements with Prof Mbithi, which have also led to the sacking of senior officers and 13 others hired.

Prof Njoroge said his boss erred in sacking the officials and hiring new ones, since his approval as the head of human resources, by virtue of his position was not sought.

MY OFFICE OBSOLETE

“The VC appears to have carried the roles he used to play as the deputy vice-chancellor of administration and finance to his new role as the VC, making my office obsolete,” he said.

Prof Njoroge also alleged his boss had written to all heads of department, including the new officers he recruited, directing them to deal with him directly.

He said he slashed the budget for the retreat by cutting out expenses such as cocktails and airtime, which he says may not have gone down well with some of the officials.

The MPs are looking into the wrangles threatening Kenya’s top university after a petition by Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe.

Even the university council, the top decision making organ that employs the lecturers, has failed to end the row.