Ndiege: I’ll Clean Kyambogo Rot Amidst Fire

purchase geneva;”>No one knows the inside story of Kyambogo wrangles, except, of course, Chimpreports that always goes an extra mile to do the “most avoided” investigative bit of it.

Well, Chimpreports News Editor, Rogers Atukunda, managed to track down the “elusive” Prof Isaiah Omolo Ndiege and get into the details of what exactly transpired at Uganda’s second biggest institution.

You want to know the professor personally and Kyambogo’s real problems; here are the excerpts.

Chimp Corp: Who is Prof Ndiege?

Ndiege: I was born in 1959 in Siaya County, Kenya. I lived with my father on Bombo Road, Kampala until 1965 but had started Primary one at Malele Primary School in Siaya.


In 1975, I sat for my Certificate of Primary education and scored 36 points (3A’s) and subsequently joined St. Mary’s School – Yala (founded in 1927 by Mill Hill Brothers) in 1975 up to 1978 when I sat for my East African certificate of Education (EACE) and scored division 1 with aggregate 14 (best aggregate 9).

I joined Maseno National School (founded 1906 by CMS like King’s College Budo) for A level in 1979 and finished in 1980 having scored 3 Principal passes in Mathematics, Physics & Chemistry.

I joined the University of Nairobi in 1981 and finished in 1985 scoring a BSc (1st Class Hons) and was declared both the best chemistry student (Motedison Prize) and the best science student (Gandhi Smarak Prize).

I joined the University of Cambridge in October 1986 and graduated with a PhD (Organic Chemistry) in October 1989.

I have also undertaken a management course at Uganda management Institute (UMI) between September 2009 and July 2010 graduating with a 1st Class Post Graduate Diploma in Management

Chimp Corp: How did you come to get where you are now, I mean the position you hold at Kyambogo?

I started as a post-doctoral scientist at ICIPE in 1989 and was promoted to senior post-doctoral scientist in 1992.

In 1995, I briefly worked at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver British Columbia before coming back to join Kenyatta university as a lecturer in the same year.

In 1996, 2002 and 2007, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor, respectively.

I was also Dean, School of Pure & Applied Sciences at Kenyatta University from 2003.

Between 1989 and 2007, I supervised over 30 students for doctoral and master degrees and received several international research grants.

I have been cited in Who’s Who in the World (2007), Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (2008) and International Biographic Centre (2009).

I have jointly published over 60 articles in refereed journals including 3 patents.

In 2007/08 academic year, I was on sabbatical leave at Makerere University while also helping out at Gulu University from where I followed events at Kyambogo University and got interested in its leadership with the intention of streamlining and turning around the institution.

Chimp Corp: What is Kyambogo’s real problem?

Ndiege: The problem in Kyambogo is a bad law [Universities and Other tertiary Institutions Act 2002 (as amended)], inefficiency, dishonesty, corruption, fraud, theft, tribalism, nepotism, indiscipline, inefficient and delayed disciplinary mechanism, lack of accountability and transparency, several centres of power (Council, VC and US) which are not complementary, intrigues, infighting among staff, management and council, over enrolment, and lack of infrastructure.

Chimp Corp: Why do lecturers (staff) dispute your stay at Kyambogo?

Ndiege: Because I am trying to tackle all the above vices!

Chimp Corp: How was the dispute resolved?

Ndiege: The Ad hoc committee of the University Council did not find me culpable.

Similarly, Parliament could not directly attribute some of the allegations to my office or person but observed acts of corruption, fraud, theft, indiscipline and general mismanagement by other offices/officers and therefore, ordered further scrutiny.

Consequently, there are on-going investigations on the allegations of corruption, financial mismanagement and maladministration by the Inspectorate General of Government (IGG), Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Directorate (CIID).

Meanwhile, the courts ordered status quo which was upheld by the Cabinet and Parliament.

Chimp Corp: How has this dispute affected the university?

Ndiege: The reputation of the university and her leadership has been dragged through the sewer and will take a long time to be restored to its former status.

We lost fresh students at the beginning of 2012/13. This has negatively impacted on the enrolment.

For instance, in 2011/12 the student enrolment was 28,000 while in 2013/14 it is 23,000.

Loss of revenue implies that the university cannot undertake some critical planned capital development projects.

The university is split and therefore, there is no harmony and good will among staff.

Some members of staff have also left due to an unstable working environment.

These happen to be some of the best job performers we had. We have not been able to recruit some of the best staff for fear of joining an unstable institution.

We lost donor confidence and some donor funded projects due to negative publicity.

Chimp Corp: How has it affected your family?

Ndiege: I have personally been affected since all the information is available on the internet and my friends all over the world keep wondering if all that is being alleged is true.

My family got used to the international negative press after a while. Luckily, most of the family members are abroad.

However, the financial burden has been enormous due to the legal costs thus affecting their lifestyle, especially the little luxuries you extend to the family.

Chimp Corp: How did you fight the legal battle?

Ndiege: I have always believed in the rule of law and that is why I resorted to the courts.

However, it is emotionally, financially and psychologically taxing to fight legal battles in court.

Chimp Corp: People would want to know about your family (wife and children) and where you reside currently (I’m not compromising your security, I hope)!

Ndiege: I live in a modest 3 bedroom apartment in Kampala. My wife works in Nairobi but is currently on sick leave.

My first son is a lawyer in Kisumu while the eldest daughter is an accountant with an international investment bank in Nairobi.

The other daughter is a banker in Kisumu while the 3rd girl is a 4th year law student at the University of Nairobi.

The last boy is joining S.3 in January 2014 in a school in Nairobi.

Chimp Corp: There are allegations of corruption in the university. What do you say to this?

Ndiege: The bible says that ‘thou shalt not judge’. Let us wait for the investigation report by the IGG, AG and CIID to cast the stone.

Chimp Corp: What is the way forward now that the situation has normalised and lectures resumed?

Ndiege: The way forward is to embrace the spirits of both Mandela and Gandhi in forgiving your enemies and working together for the good of the institution through reconciliation without necessarily forgetting the events.

This was also possible during glastnost and perostroika in Gorbachev’s USSR. These events will remain as part of the history of Kyambogo University.

Chimp Corp: How about the newest issue about tuition clearing before students sit for their exams!

Ndiege: We have run a manual financial and student admission system for the last 10 years.

People may have taken advantage of the manual system but we are finally moving into an Information Technology (IT) platform.

During that migration, we discovered that financial and admission records of most graduating students were not complete.

We have, therefore, requested them to provide documents to confirm or disprove the information we have on each of them.

It may be a slow and painful process but we want to make sure that we have accurate financial information on each student.

We are, therefore, appealing to all graduating students to bear with us.

I know that my students are understanding and patient enough to go through this without causing unnecessary hullabaloo.

Hoh! You can join me in thanking the Prof and wishing him all the best!

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