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MKU terms the Kiambu law on job employment quota retrogressive.

MKU Chairman Prof. Simon Gicharu (left) flanked by Board of Directors member Jane Nyutu and Council Chairman Prof David Seremthe on arrival at the graduation arena during the University’s 13th graduation ceremony held at MKU Pavilion on Friday.
A section of the Mount Kenya University (MKU) leadership has faulted a motion passed by the Kiambu County Assembly to compel all public and private institutions within its jurisdiction to ensure that at least 70% of its workforce constitute of locals (read Kikuyus).

Led by Chairman of its Board of Directors Prof. Simon Gicharu during the institution’s 13th Graduation Ceremony, the leaders termed this law as retrogressive and in bad spirit of nationhood.

“This motion was ill-advised and does not promote national integration. It is advisable when is implementing some of these policies to allow diversity and competence to override all other interests. National integration can never be achieved if we restrict our people to only live and word in their areas of origin,” said Prof. Gicharu.

He reckoned that instead of such a move, the county government should have advocated for a jobs exchange programme that would ensure that all counties in Kenya tapped the best talents and skills, consequently attracting rapid growth, not only in Kiambu but in all the 47 counties in the country.
Gicharu added that, as an institution, MKU will continue to hire the best personnel in the world regardless of where someone came from.

“I want to assure Prof (Stanley) Waudo that your job is safe despite the fact that you hail from another region of this country. As MKU, we will not respect that law and we will continue to hire staff from any part of the world. What matters to us is their qualifications and competence,” he said.

These sentiments were echoed by MKU Governing Council Vice Chairman Vincent Gichuru Gaitho who challenged the county assembly to revisit the matter and instead work on ways to create more employment opportunities instead of setting up policies that would alienate locals and ignite tribal animosity among the communities living in Kenya.

“The county assembly should think bigger than that. We cannot use knee-jerk resolutions to solve our problems. Instead of attempting to arm-twist employers into employing people from a certain ethnic community, they should prepare programmes geared towards creating more employment opportunities for their people. And by the way, who qualifies to be referred to as a ‘local’? There are non-Kikuyus who have been born and brought up in Kiambu and we cannot afford to discriminate them for reasons of ethnicity,” said Gichuru.  

The Kiambu County Assembly passed a motion compelling public and private institutions and businesses operating in the region to get 70% of its workforce from the dominant ethnic community in what they argued an attempt to create employment for the local people.

The MCAs said a staff audit will be carried out and employers found not to have complied will be required to take action, failing which they will lose their operating licences.

Earlier, Governor Ferdinand Waititu insisted that the recruitment of vice chancellors for universities in the county to be conducted by the regional assembly, to ensure locals are given priority.

While making the proposal, Waititu argued that the majority of employees at Kenyatta University (KU) and the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) were non-locals.

Meanwhile, MKU has unveiled a new logo to culminate its rebranding, ten (10) years since it became a fully-fledged university.

In a colourful ceremony held after their 13th graduation, Chairman Board of Directors Prof. Simon Gicharu said that time was ideal for the institution to re-invent itself into one of the best universities in the world.

During the launch, the university changed it MOTTO from the previous ‘Scaling The Heights of Education’ to ‘Unlock Infinite Possibilities’.

“Time is ripe for us to reinvent ourselves. After scaling the heights of education for the last 10 years, now we can unlock our infinite potential. My vision of MKU is to become the best university in the country, in Africa and in the world,” said Gicharu.

To achieve this, Gicharu challenged both staff and students to play their part in ensuring that the institution remained credible and upholding integrity in all they did.

The institution also launched a retirement provident scheme for the payment of lump sums and other similar benefits to employees when they leave employment or to the dependents of employees on the death of those employees.

All MKU workers will from now henceforth contribute a portion of their salaries towards the fund as the institution contributes a certain percentage on behalf of her workers.

“You will no longer have to worry about your retirement. This fund will ensure that each one of you is financially secure after you call it a day,” said Gicharu.

The occasion was graced by the Secretary of Communications in the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU) and State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu among other dignitaries.

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