Kenya-based Kenyatta University (KU) management was Tuesday hard-pressed to explain how it spent around $3.6 million (Ksh370 million) to open a campus in Rwanda without regulatory approvals from authorities in Nairobi and Kigali.
Paul Wainaina, the acting KU vice-chancellor, was put on the spotlight after the Kenyan Parliament’s Public Investments Committee (PIC) demanded to know how the university made the investments in Rwanda and Arusha, Tanzania.
Prof Wainaina said the Ministry of Education in Rwanda is yet to grant KU the authority to operate in Kigali despite having sought approval a year ago.
“We have been authorised to operate in Arusha. However, the Rwanda Ministry of Education is yet to give us authority to operate in Kigali. We have made an application,” he told legislators.
Kenyatta University is yet to admit students in Rwanda, but plans to admit students in Arusha in September after recent approvals from Tanzanian education authorities.
Prof Wainaina told MPs that the university has so far spent $3.6 million to purchase and refurbish a building in Kigali in readiness for educational programmes.
“In Tanzania, we have spent Ksh53.5 million (almost $350,000) to open a campus there. We have in total spent Ksh423 million ($4.2 million) for the two projects in Rwanda and Tanzania,” he said.
Prof Wainaina said when KU found that it could operate in Rwanda, it bought a building that it wanted to use for teaching.
“At the time, we assumed that we did not actually need direct approval from the Treasury because the approval we got came from members of our (KU) council and the council of the university comprised members from KU, the Treasury and Ministry of Education,” he said.
He said the KU management thought that the approval granted by the council was good enough.
“We are now made to know that we needed the Treasury approval. We have bought the property and prepared it for teaching only to be told that we needed direct approval from Treasury,” he said.
He said the university carried out feasibility studies before setting up the campuses in Arusha and Kigali.
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