Rongo University staffs down tools, joined by students

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Workers at Rongo University in Migori County have downed their tools for the fourth day running over delayed payments.

The irate workers are now accusing the Vice Chancellor Professor Samuel Gudu of running down the institution.

According to the Secretary General of the Kenya Universities Staff Union Mr. Joseph Opande, the institution has failed to honour a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) entered between the workers and the management.

Opande said the management has been implementing the CBA partially to the detriment of workers accusing the University of failing to give them due medical cover despite an earlier agreement to the effect.

Worker lamented nepotism by the VC where they alleged he has recruited his family members to various departments in the institution.

They also accused the VC of dictatorship and arrogance in dismissing complaints over his dictatorial leadership style and threatening workers who criticize him.

The workers led by unionists condemned cronies of the VC whom they accused of siphoning money meant for workers welfare and threatening fellow workers for questioning their ill motives that they will be fired.

The staff have however vowed never to report to work until grievances are looked into.

The Universities Academic Staff University Rongo chapter chairman Gerald Ochieng said they will rally behind their colleagues.

Students who felt the significant disruption to their studies led by Edgar Wanyonyi appeared to back the staff as some joined them on picket lines.

They said that the university should put students first and should come back with a better offer on salaries and pensions.

Efforts to reach VC Gudu failed to bear fruits as he failed to receive calls or respond to SMS.

By Basil Okoth