Universities are invested with the vice tribalism, according to National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chairman Francis ole Kaparo. Although university staff should reflect the national composition of communities, only five out of 33 public universities have complied with law on national cohesion.
Mr Kaparo says ethnicity –read tribalism – in universities is so pervasive that it may warrant special legislation to address it. “Public universities and colleges must come up with a program that will provide equal opportunities to Kenyans regardless of tribe, religion or race, in order to entrench national unity and integration,” says Mr Kaparo.
He further says, “Most public universities have violated the Constitution by basing employment of staff on ethnicity. This must stop. Public institutions cannot be allowed to breed tribalism.”
Moi University, University of Eldoret and Maasai Mara University are some of the higher learning institutions that have been hit by ethnicity with residents demanding that they must be heading by locals. Maasai Mara University deputy vice-chancellor in charge of administration, finance and planning Simon Ole Seno has appeared before the NCIC to answer queries on incitement at the institution.
And Mr. Kaparo spoke at State House in Nairobi before the bosses of all public universities and and before President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr. Kenyatta suggestion is that universities should start teaching courses on national integration. “You must help us achieve the agenda of national unity. You are the people to set up that agenda,” the President said.
To rid universities of tribalism however, it will be necessary to look at where the rot started. And it started with bogus graduates from India. When the stamped started for Indian degrees, it was at first a shock that a fellow who had a poor fourth division could disappear to Indian and return in three short years with an MA or whatever degree which would make him or her lecturer at the university.
What this did was to demoralize the qualified people – people who had worked hard to attained university entry qualifications. And the second thing it did was to introduce corruption and nepotism in the university system. Concern with academics flew out the window. A bogus professor needs hand-picked stooges in form of tribesmen and women to keep himself or herself in employment.
That is where the rot starts. And that’s where the government should start putting down the broom to sweep.