THE ethnic fights that led to the closure of the Moi and the Eldoret universities should be ended, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
Lauching a laptop assembling project yesterday at the Rivatex Textile Company, he said the universities are embarrassing themselves.
“When universities engage in ethnic contests and power struggles, they depict the institutions in the worst possible light,” Ruto said. He said the universities should focus on intellectual innovations and research instead of “primitive talk”.
The University of Eldoret was shut down two weeks ago following riots by students and management problems. There have been demands for Vice Chancellor Professor Teresia Akenga to be replaced by a resident.
Similar ethnic and political differences among students at the Moi University led to closure of the institution after the students differed on who should be elected to lead their union.
Ruto said leadership at the universities should be based on merit and not one’s ethnicity. He asked the Education ministry to intervene and ensure that the universities stick to their mandate. The DP said the government will support university education through increased funding.
He said policies will be made to kickstart the assembling of mobile phones and other ICT gadgets in Kenya. “We expect universities to play a leading role in this,” Ruto said.
The DP said public institutions must comply with the government directive to procure most resources locally. Present were Education PS Kipsang Belio, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Moi University vice chancellor Professor Richard Mibei.