BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,7TH OCT,2021-Education CS George Magoha has taken on the University of Nairobi leadership for fee hikes effected in September.
In September, UoN increased hostel fees by sevenfold, from the initial Sh6,000 per year to Sh40,000 per year, while the tuition fee was increased from Sh28,000 per academic year to almost Sh59,000 per semester.
Magoha termed the fees illegal and that the institution made the decision without his knowledge.
“What do I do, I have no power to do anything in universities, that power was taken away by amendments to the University Act. As it is now, rogue university councils are acting totally without my involvement,” the CS said.
He spoke while appearing before the National Assembly Education Committee on Thursday.
The CS argues that the University Act as it is limits him from taking any action on university heads and council leadership whose decisions border illegal activities.
“Right now if I take action on the council (University of Nairobi) they will run to court; so what do I do?” he said.
The CS called on parliament to fast-track amendments to the University Act that will give back the CS supervisory powers over the institutions of higher learning.
“Give me back the powers and you will see that (fee increase at UoN) reversed in two days,” the CS said.
Magoha and the University of Nairobi leadership have since 2019 had a rough patch in working relations that have led to open disagreements.
The CS in January 2020 reversed the appointment of Stephen Kiama as the University VC and dissolved the council.
However, a high court ruling reversed the CS orders and reinstated both the council and the VC.