Questions have been raised online after UON VC Stephen Kiama sneaked backed to office after a controversial six-month sabbatical. The VC’s return was marked with a sponsored Twitter hashtag in an apparent attempt to sanitize his comeback that was triggered by wrangles between him and the Ministry of Education.
The don’s return to office has sparked a debate among Kenyans over his management style. Kiama is being accused of running the world class institution as a personal venture, where he leaves and returns at his convenience.
His temperament has also been in question with a myriad of reports from the university staff over his anger issues.
The Vice Chancellor is also facing accusations of mismanaging the institution and for taking it to its knees financially. Through his tenure, the University of Nairobi’s finances have been dwindling to a point of the university risking being declared bankrupt.
The don was also at loggerheads with the university leadership council due to his poor governance style that deifies the leadership structures of Kenya’s biggest university.
A source confirmed that he was back in office days after he attended the inauguration of UoN’s Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies.
His office later confirmed his return in a tweet that has elicited mixed responses owing to his backdoor return at the helm of the varsity.
While taking the leave, Kiama stated that there were management issues and that he needed time out to rethink about his career.
“I know where we want to go, but I’ve seen some management issues that won’t get us there. If it succeeds, it cannot be the university it is. Let us all think what kind of institution we want. We cannot allow people to keep you busy with mundane things and then measure your performance based on those things. I asked for leave to give me time to think,” Prof Kiama said then without going into details, only saying that a shorter leave will not solve these things.
It was after continued disagreements with the university council, the ministry of education and other stakeholders that forced the Vice Chancellor to step aside.
A cloud of uncertainty now hangs over the institution after Kiama’s move; a move that is sure to rattle the Ministry of Education, the University Council and senior dons at the institution who were relieved when Prof. Kiama went on the forced leave.