Recruitment of Egerton University registrar derailed by a court case

Egerton University Njoro Campus main gate

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

A legal debacle between Egerton University and one of its senior administrators has derailed the hiring of a new registrar.

In contention are the terms of service of the bearer of the office of the registrar for human capital and administration.

The university, in an advert, said the holder will work under a five-year contract, which can be renewed once subject to the approval of the university council

But Mr Francis Kiplagat Kenei, a senior administrative assistant at the university, claims the position is permanent and pensionable.

Following a petition Mr Kenei filed in the Employment and Labour Relations Court, the university has been temporarily barred from hiring someone for the position. Interviews had been set for September 27.

Justice Helen Wasilwa issued orders last week staying the process until the petition is heard and determined.

In the case filed on September 26, Mr Kenei accuses the university of illegally and unilaterally changing the terms of service of the registrar from permanent and pensionable to a five-year contract.

He claimed the decision violates fair labour practices and could be extended to other positions at the university.

"By choosing to unilaterally vary the Statute of the university, the Vice Chancellor acted in contravention of Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya and is a threat to my position and other positions," Mr Kenei says in his petition.

In his sworn affidavit, he says the university advertised the vacant position on its website on May 26 and June 8.

The advert, he claims, indicated that the position will be held on a five-year contract that is renewable once upon approval by the council.

Four applicants were shortlisted for interviews but the petitioner claims the process is already tainted with illegality.

He sued the university and the vice-chancellor, Prof Isaac Kibwage.

He wants the court to quash the advert and order fresh hiring.


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