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“The sick VC of Maseno University”? – Weekly Citizen



Staff and students of Maseno University have misgivings on the administration of vice chancellor Julius Nyabundi whom they accuse of highhandedness and operations at the institution that are shrouded in secrecy.

They say the VC is surrounded by a clique of his Luo tribesmen who micromanage the university making the VC their stooge.

In private, dons at the university refer to Nyabundi as the “sick VC of Maseno University”.

They compare him to Turkey once historically referred to “the sick man of Europe”. Prof Nyabundi replaced Dominic Makawiti as VC on March 1 2016 following an announcement made by then Maseno University council chairperson Rosalind Mutua.

Prof. Makawiti

He came from Murang’a University College where he was the principal. He joined the institution at a time when it was facing various challenges.

The institution had been closed indefinitely following the killing of a student during riots.

But since his arrival, things have not changed. He also served as Chemelil Sugar Company managing director between 2007 and 2012.

At Chemelil, his name featured in mega scandals that brought down the once vibrant miller.

He is said to have employed relatives at Chemilil.

He also mismanaged the factory awarding tenders and pushing payments for firms linked to his relatives and friends.

Nyabundi is also said to have imported the same to Maseno University.

The staff and students now want the university council chairman Abdullah Said to move with speed and act before it is too late.

It came to the fore when the university was shut down indefinitely following students’ unrest over increased insecurity in and around the institution that not all was well.

Students took to the streets claiming that their pleas had fallen on deaf ears of the area security personnel after several thefts in their halls of residence, and violence by unknown machete wielding gangs putting their lives at risk.

They claim that the gangs mercilessly beat and rape female students.

One of the students who did not wish to be named for fear of victimisation said some of them who have been trading sex in exchange of exam marks are a bitter lot with the institutions plans to install CCTV cameras inside the exam rooms since the institution.

Weekly Citizen has also established that a number of students have been shortchanged on graduation day with some of them taken by shock after their names went missing in the list of those to graduate.

A senior staff at the office of academic registrar is in a case involving Cynthia Achieng Olonde who wept after finding that her name was missing from the list of those waiting to graduate on December 13 and her admission number given to Mike Dida, a ghost student.

Olonde’s admission is listed as BA/04049/016, School Arts and Social Sciences, Course Sociology with IT.

Nyabundi was unceremoniously removed from the now moribund Chemelil Sugar Company following claims of corruption.

His appointment at Maseno was not welcome and many are said to have been supporting Prof Makawiti, the former VC. Nyabundi is said to dreaded, misunderstood as well as having dangerous cards under the table.

When he took over as VC, he promised to make sure Maseno University continues to offer quality education and that he would strive to make sure the university accesses resources that would facilitate it to offer quality education and establish more infrastructure to improve the quality of services offered.

However, he has failed in everything including the concept of ‘quality sells’, in which he wanted the university to emphasise on quality services that would automatically sell it to prospective students.

The VC is also being accused of failing to identify critical areas, and move them to higher levels by channeling adequate resources to them.

In fact, many say that since the departure of deputy vice[1]chancellor, Partnerships, Research and Innovations, Joseph Chacha from Maseno University, things have gone downhill.

In January, Maasai Mara University Council appointed Prof Chacha as the acting vice-chancellor replacing Kitche Magak who had been serving in the same capacity after taking over from former VC Mary Walingo who was sent on compulsory leave over alleged corruption in 2020.

Chacha replaced Prof Magak who had been demoted over alleged highhandedness and mismanagement of the institution according to Maasai Mara University council.

Chacha was Maseno University deputy vice chancellor from April 2014.

Prof. Chacha

He has brought semblance of sanity at Maasai Mara University which had been bogged down by protests and endless litigations that had undermined academic programmes.

Members of the university council are Prof Said (chairman), Nyabundi, Andrew Rukaria, Lucy Osmerah, Gerald Mira, Sophia Hassan, Edwins Mukabanah, Caroline Nyororo and Alice Nyariki.

It is claimed Nyabundi favours his Luo tribesmen in plum appointments at the university.

For instance Catherine Muhoma is the DVC administration, finance and development and Mari Kipsat (DVC academic and student affairs) have been sidelined., Joseph Omondi (finance officer) and Joy Akinyi (legal officer) are key players in VC innercircle.

Early this year, the university advertised vacancies that Nyabundi allegedly filled in a skewed way.

They include senior systems administrator, senior procurement officer, senior systems administrator, senior procurement officer, deputy finance officer, registrar, deputy librarian, librarian, internal auditor, deputy internal auditor, chief internal auditor, lecturer, graphic designer among others.

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