Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nakuru has suspended the recent decision by Egerton University to replace vice-chancellor Prof Rose Mwonya.
The court ruled on Monday that the November 20 decision by the varsity to send Prof Mwonya on terminal leave before the end of her term on January 12, 2021, was illegal.
The Njoro-based campus had replaced Prof Mwonya with Prof Isaac Kibwage—vice-chancellor in charge of Administration, Planning and Development at the university—as her successor. But the former went to court and successfully challenged the decision.
“Pending the hearing of this application, the court is pleased to issue interim orders suspending the decision dated November 13, 2020 that purports to send ex parte applicant on leave with direction to hand over her role as vice chancellor to Prof Isaac Kibwage, in its entirety,” Justice Hellen Wasilwa, after the hearing the case.
The court directed that the case be filed under the certificate of urgency and that it be heard inter-parte by December 20, 2020. Another ruling was that a show cause letter written to Prof Mwonya was to be revoked for for failing to follow the due procedure.
Prof Mwonya is not new to the legal battles that have coloured her stint at the helm of the university.
The professor of Home Economics Education replaced Prof James Tuitoek in 2016. Her appointment was challenged by Prof Njenga Munene who cited lack of adherence to the hiring protocols and regulations. After this came a series of allegations of mismanagement, flouted procurement procedures and many others which culminated in her suspension but she appealed.
Prof Isaac Kibwage, formerly the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of Administration, Planning and Development at Egerton University is now the Acting Vice-Chancellor at the university.
Prof Kibwage took the mantle of leadership at the institution on November 29. His appointment was pronounced in a memo by the Registrar Thomas Serrem on Friday.
“This is to bring to your attention that the University Council has appointed Prof Isaac Kibwage to act as the Vice-Chancellor with effect from November 20, until further notice. The Vice-Chancellor Prof Mwonya has taken her pending leave,” read the memo.