A principal of a University College has written to State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) seeking protection from his Council which has an insatiable appetite for meetings.
Prof Egara Kabaji, the out-going Ag. Principal of Turkana University College who is set to handover to Prof. Thomas Ekamais Akuja states that he has persevered acrimonious relationship with his Council for the whole period he has been Acting Principal.
The Council had accumulated a total of 85 meetings in the year 2017/2018 and overshot its budget by over 80percentage.
“I have had a bad relationship from the first day when the Council was inaugurated since I objected to their request to spend Sh4 Million on a retreat on the first day of their meeting,” Prof Egara Kabaji said.
Due to this, Kabaji says the Council has been on a witch-hunting mission.
He alleges that the members of Council want to utilize the issue of handing over to hold several special meetings that will deplete the resources of the young institution and make it difficult for it to meet its financial obligations.
“The possibility of this College joining the league of Universities and University Colleges that do not pay statutory deductions is high if prudent management of resources is not adhered to. I want to hand over a healthy institution and not an institution in which my successor is unable to meet financial obligations when he arrives” the letter says.
Prof. Kabaji notes that apart from appetite for meetings and witch-hunt, the members of Council have, throughout the time he has been acting Principal, undermined his administration by dealing with workers without reference to him contrary to Mwongozo regulations that govern State Corporations.
He says Council has floated the Code of Conduct for Boards by dealing with workers directly without reference to him and undermined his leadership.
These revelations come in the wake of some disquiet among Vice-chancellors and Principals who claim that Councils do not respect the boundaries between Council and Management.
It is said that some council chairs and members behave like chief executive officers of universities and are meddling in the administration of universities.
Some are said to undermine the Vice Chancellors and principals by giving power to junior officers whom the vice chancellors should supervise. This is said to diminish the power of the CEOs to manage the Universities. Ideally, Councils should only deal with members of staff of universities through the Vice-chancellors and principals and their role is limited to approving policies.
Efforts to reach out the council chair Mussolini Kithome were not fruitful because he did not answer to calls.