Moi University has come out to refute claims that it has ghost workers on its payroll.
Last week, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said it had launched a probe into allegations of ghost workers, a bloated workforce and alleged embezzlement of funds at the office of the Vice Chancellor.
In a letter dated September 7 addressed to the Vice Chancellor, Prof Isaac Kosgei, the anti-graft watchdog had requested the management to provide it with original documents detailing all of the varsity's teaching and non-teaching staff as from July 1, 2018 to date.
EACC said it had received a tip-off alleging that the institution of higher learning has a bloated payroll with most employees being ghost workers.
But the varsity's Council chairperson, Dr Humphrey Njuguna, on Monday dismissed allegations of ghost workers, but admitted that Moi University could have a bloated workforce, citing dwindling student population at public universities.
“We have been accused of having ghost workers but that is not true. We don’t have ghost workers. Everybody here is employed and working for us. What we might have is a bloated workforce and we are addressing that with cost-cutting measures to reduce the wage bill," he said.
"Around the world, we are told that the right ratio should be 70 per cent teaching staff and 30 per cent. learners. We are not there but we working to get the best model for the university through community participation with all stakeholders."
Public universities are faced with cash flow challenges due decline in capitation from the government. Additionally, students enrolling for parallel or self-sponsored degree programmes over the past four years, which generated billions of shillings for institutions of higher learning, have declined.
“We had a student population of 45,000 but this has since declined to about 30,000. Perhaps the workforce did not come down to match the student needs. It is a question of rightsizing and downsizing but we are going to adopt human approach to get an ideal situation,” added Dr Njuguna on Monday as the university launched a 8,500-seat amphitheater that will cost Sh1.5 billion in the first phase and the second phase.
It is expected to be complete within the next three years.
According to the institution of higher learning, the project will allow the institution to host local and international conferences, nurture creative arts and preserve indigenous culture.
Dr Njuguna disclosed that the university is also working with private investors to put up a Sh2.5 billion modern hostel in a project dubbed "student village". It is projected to accommodate at least 4,000 learners with construction set to start by the end of the year.
Out of the current student population of 30,000 in all of its campuses, the institution is only able to accommodate 3,000 learners at a given time.