April 30th 2017

Society / Education

Moi University unable to pay salaries, seeking urgent state help

The university normally pays salaries from the 25th of each month, but this time it has been unable to meet this timeline, with many lecturers and other non-academic staff reporting that their salaries had not been remitted to their bank accounts as of today March 1.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comWednesday, 01 Mar 2017 17:50 EAT

The Nairobi Campus is the main revenue unit for Moi University.

The financial crisis facing public universities has worsened at Moi University, with latest reports indicating that February salaries for lecturers and other staff have been delayed indefinitely. Our sources have confided to us that the university is facing a serious cash crunch, unable to determine which cadre of workers it should priortitise in paying the February salaries since its liquid cash can only meet the needs of a third of its workers.

Operations at the university's campus ground to a halt following the commencement of the lecturers' strike in January, resulting in reduced collections from the parallel (module two) programmes that sustain the university. The closure of the Nairobi Campus has caused the university its greatest challenge since the campus is the main revenue stream for the college, with well-endowed students in arts and huminities courses.

The university normally pays salaries from the 25th of each month, but this time it has been unable to meet this timeline, with many lecturers and other non-academic staff reporting that their salaries had not been remitted to their bank accounts as of today March 1. Our calls to the university to verify the allegations were not returned, but a number of those we spoke to are usually reliable sources.

This website was informed that the university administration had reached out to the cabinet secretaries for Education and Finance seeking emergency loan to offset some of its pressing financial commitments. According to our sources, the administration has assessed that operations at its campuses would grind to a complete halt in the next month if the current strike by lecturers persists beyond February.

Moi University has experienced serious financial management problems. An audit report last year showed that the university could have lost up to Sh1 billion in one of the worst suspected corruption scandals in a public-owned institution of higher learning. The government report raised the red flag over Sh600 million in the university's takeover of Rift Valley Textile (Rivatex), a company it owns and which is a facility for research, product development, extension and production.

The report, which was handed to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), further indicates that the university operates 56 bank accounts, many of them suspect.

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