Wednesday April 30 2014

NCHE directs Kampala University to recall Mombasa governor’s degree

Mombasa governor Hassan Ali Joho. Monitor photo

Mombasa governor Hassan Ali Joho. Monitor photo 


A committee set up to authenticate a degree awarded by a Ugandan university to a Kenyan politician has recommended that the award be withdrawn.
It also recommended that an investigation be carried out on all students who graduated at the same university on the same day.

The committee, set up by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) to probe Bachelor of Business Administration degree awarded to Mombasa governor Hassan Ali Joho by Kampala University, has also instructed NCHE not to recognise the degree awarded to the governor on February 28, 2013.
“NCHE should carry out an investigation into the processes from admission to graduation of all the students who graduated on February 28, 2013, with the Bachelor of Business Administration degree of Kampala University,” reads part of the report dated April.

The committee
The committee was created after a special meeting of the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Committee of the NCHE.
Mr Joho was accused by political rivals of having allegedly faked his academic credentials before the general elections in Kenya last year. The governor had apparently received a certificate that showed that he earned a Second Class Upper division degree.

When the High Court in Nairobi cleared Mr Joho to contest, his rivals took the case to a Mombasa court, insisting that his degree was fake.
In a February report to government and NCHE, the Director Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID), Ms Grace Akullo, said NCHE should analyse the assembled evidence to enable it form an opinion as to whether Mr Joho passed through the due process to attain a Bachelor of Business Administration degree of Kampala University. She faulted both the NCHE and the university for failing to provide all the required information.

However, Mr Joho filed a case in Kampala challenging the authority of the NCHE to withdraw his degree. Justice Stephen Kavuma of the Constitutional Court issued an interim order on April 22, stopping any proceedings as far as the Joho saga is concerned, pending determination of this particular case.
Asked to comment on the new committee report advising the recall of Mr Joho’s degree, the politician’s lawyer, Mr Denis Mosota, said the matter was still in court and discussing it would be unprofessional.

Kampala University’s proprietor, who doubles as Vice Chancellor, Prof Badru Katerega, told this paper yesterday that he was going to challenge the recommendations of the Quality Assurance Committee.
Meanwhile the Executive Director, NCHE, who cleared Mr Joho’s academic papers, has now backtracked on the matter, saying a final decision is yet to be taken by the council’s board.

Prof John Opuda Asibo, in his latest correspondence to the Ministry of Education, says his earlier decision is likely to be affected by the ongoing investigations by both the council’s Accreditation and Quality Assurance committee and the CIID.

Prof Opuda said, at the time he wrote the first letter in December, there was no reason to doubt or suspect the validity of Mr Joho’s qualification because Kampala University (KU) management had provided documentary evidence that the Kenyan politician was once their student.

Background to the events
Investigations. On April 1, 2014, the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) set up a committee to authenticate the Bachelor of Business Administration degree awarded by Kampala University (KU) to Mr Hassan Ali Joho in February 2013. The findings were to guide NCHE on whether the qualification can be recognised by NCHE.