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KU Vice Chancellor Steps Down After a Disagreement With President Uhuru

The Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University, Paul Wainaina, who has held the position for many years, has stepped down from the institution this afternoon.

Wainaina informed students that he had been forced to resign and the University Council had been disbanded due to his refusal to cede land for the World Health Organization project.

According to multiple reports, Prof Wainana informed the university staff during a morning meeting on Tuesday, July 12, that he was stepping down as Vice-Chancellor.

This follows President Uhuru Kenyatta's criticism of the university administration for objecting to plans to grant the World Health Organization access to some of the institution's land in order to establish a Ksh600 million emergency center to support its regional operations.

Kenyatta University had complained that the 200 acres where the WHO emergency hub was to be built had already been set aside for other development projects and that the university had not been granted permission to construct the hub.

During the commissioning of the WHO emergency hub, President Kenyatta slammed those opposed to the hub project, claiming that the land belongs to Kenyans and not to certain individuals.

"Kenya is a respected member of the global community and we are recognized as a very strong supporter of multinational institutions. We led UN-Habitat and UNEP and that is why we want WHO here," Uhuru stated.

"You are claiming that this is your land yet this same land is owned by Kenyans. You want to hinder this project but I still have three more weeks in office, we shall deal with those individuals swiftly and effectively. I will go home with them," Uhuru warned.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kenyatta University. PHOTO FILE

Kenyatta University (KU) and Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital (KUTRH) were at odds over ownership of the 1,000-acre plot of land.

The controversy stems from KUTRH's apparent decision to divide 200 acres of the land in question in order to build WHO headquarters. Currently, WHO offices are housed within the walls of the referral hospital.
Prof Wainaina, who announced KU's opposition to the project, stated that KUTRH failed to contact the university about the project's use of 200 acres.
Prof Olive Mugenda, a former VC of KU, however, argued that the land in question belongs to the government.

Prof Olive Mugenda, a former VC of KU. PHOTO FILE

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