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Striking varsity staff evict lecturers from classes

Staff  at University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University evicted lecturers from classes on Wednesday morning, ignoring a court order that had barred them from boycotting work.

At University of Nairobi, the staff went to lecture halls to pull out lecturers who had ignored the strike. Some of the lecturers were administering Continuous Assessment Tests and exams to the students.

The lecturers were then told to join other university staff who were gathered at the Chancellor’s Court.

The striking workers later blocked University way.

In Kenyatta University, students studied under trees and in the library after lecturers and staff boycotted work.

Vice Chancellor Prof Olive Mugenda, while addressing the striking workers, said she will pay out a portion of the pay deal if they called of the strike.

“The idea of blinding us with an amount that we never negotiated in the first place is absurd and it is only after we get the full amount that we will call off the strike,” said Kenyatta University chapter union official Mr Maina.

University Academic Staff Union and Kenya Universities Staff Union are demanding payment of  Sh3.9 billion that was negotiated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2012.

The unions claim the money was released by Treasury but has been misappropriated by vice chancellors.

Kenya University Staff Union official George Kariuki said the willingness by vice chancellors to pay out only sh2.2 billion ‘confirms that the money was embezzled’.

“We want the vice chancellors to surrender the remaining 1.7 billion so that our full payments can be done,” said Mr Kariuki.

He added that offices at the University of Nairobi will remain closed till the funds are released and vice chancellors investigated for embezzlement.

Students at the university studied on their own at the library, after lecturers suspended assessment tests and exams.

The Federation of Kenya Employers had obtained a court order Tuesday evening  from the Industrial Court stopping university staff from commencing the strike.