We will not apologise over Moi varsity demand - Jackson Mandago
North Rift leaders accuse CS Matiang’i of sidelining Kalenjins. ‘Jails are made for people. We’re ready to go there if that’s what defending our community will cost us’
Governor Jackson Mandago and North Rift MPs will not apologise for storming Moi University last week to stop acting VC Laban Ayiro from taking over.
Mandago and the MPs have dared Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery to arrest them, saying they are not tribal. They are accused of making tribal and inciting statements and demanding that Professor Isaac Kosgey be installed as VC, not Prof Ayiro.
During the incident, Mandago was accompanied by Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos and MPs Oscar Sudi, James Bett and Sila Tiren. MP Alfred Keter and Senator Isaac Melly have also defended their colleagues’ demand on Kosgey’s appointment.
CS Nkaissery has directed Mandago, Tolgos and the MPs to apologise. He has asked the NCIC to take action if the leaders do not do so. But Mandago, who spoke at several functions in Eldoret at the weekend, denied claims they incited university workers and engaged in tribal hatred.
He said they only demanded due process be followed in the appointment of a new VC. “We know Kosgey was the best during recruitment interviews and all we are saying is that he be given the job, instead of having an acting VC. We have nothing against Ayiro on the basis of his not being a Kalenjin”, Mandago said.
Sudi said, “Jails are made for people and we are ready to go there if that’s what defending our community will cost us.”
Sudi and Keter accused Education CS Fred Matiang’i of messing up appointments at the universities. They said some tribes are sidelined, despite having people who merit to head universities.
North Rift professionals led by lawyer Kiprotich Cherargei have also threatened to go to court to compel the university council and Matiang’i to release names of those shortlisted for the Moi University CEO position.
Their sentiments come as ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi urged Rift Valley leaders to respect the Constitution and allow Ayiro to discharge his mandate. He said leaders have a duty to respect institutions, rather than engage in negative ethnicity. Mudavadi said Ayiro is qualified to lead the university.
Meanwhile, three top academics have been shortlisted for the VC’s job. They are Rongo University College principal Samuel Gudu, Laikipia University deputy VC Isaac Kosgey, and Commission for University Education Quality Standards chief Ann Nangulu.
Governor Jackson Mandago speaks in Kapseret in Eldoret on Friday