What Happened to Moi University Until it Collapsed—Testimony from a Lecturer

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After coming across a circular of a looming Closure of Moi University, I have never been so excited yet so traumatized concurrently. I have been in the education field for long and I can, though unscientifically confirm that Moi University, one of the largest university in Kenya is dead and long gone.

I was hired as a graduate assistant in 2003, while still doing my master in Linguistics. That was an offer I got from the then DVC ASA,Prof Ben.I gladly took it as that would really have sorted out my bills whilst building my profile and portfolio as an upcoming academician. It was a 6 months’ contract, renewable based on performance.

The experience was pretty much fine but in between cons took advantage of then poor accountability framework and the finance department (out of 6,5 were from the local community) dropped a circular of paying us half salary, there was nothing we would have done since our then HODs and Deans had already appended their signatures to the archaic and very mean circular. We (graduate assistants) would later realize that there was a cabal of staff, deans included who were part of those who would take our half salary and share amongst themselves.

We reached out to the VC,who promised to take the matter upon himself and later to the University Council. We were on our fifth month of the contract, three of which we worked on half salaries. I and my friend Dr Kimonjo,then complained and raised eyebrows that nothing was being done to address our issue. What would later happen, is that I was summoned by the University Senate and suspended for alleged incitement, my contract terminated and fined 20,000 shillings (as a master’s student), I went home for two years and later came back in 2005 to clear my course.Moi University would have sank me into depression were it not for my defiant spirit.

Fast forward, I later Joined Moi in 2014 as a part-time lecturer teaching Ethics in Communications, and was later absorbed as a full-time lecturer in 2017.The reason I was not taken immediately was because I had to compete with Kalenjins,who had the leverage of being from the right tribe and getting along with almost 70% of the staff. I can confidently affirm, without fear of contradiction that from the sweeper to the VC,70% are Kalenjins.That’s how my career was kept waiting for 3 years, they did not want an outsider.

My breakthrough came in 2018, when Prof Laban Ayiro Joined the University, I was almost immediately hired on a PNP basis because Laban put in an accountability plan to have Moi attain the status of a world class University and non-locals got tens of opportunities.

Hell broke loose when Local politicians decided to meddle with the affairs of Moi.

Jackson Mandago and Oscar Sudi in the company of tens of Local MCA’s stormed the VC’s Office and dragged Prof Ayiro out of his office like a thug.The Sudi you guys are here protecting was stopped from slapping Laban by one of Mandago’s bodyguard. That is when I realized that this country is shitty and it was about time we embraced mediocrity. Laban honorably left and in came,Prof Koskei,the man who has conducted the official mortification of Moi University. It is alleged that it took the intervention of the DP to have him there.

When I left in 2019 Voluntarily, they refused to pay me arrears totaling to 660,000 and Prof influenced the council to invalidate my application for professorship. The institution that was supposed to be the Harvard of Kenya is now down on its knees, it will never ever revive. I am excited that we have learnt a good lesson as a country that Tribalism is trash but I am mourning that we lost the great Moi University.

From me ,it’s a good Riddance!

Evelyn Mudaki-phd on Moi University.