NCHE seeks more details about Kenyan senator’s degree

Johnson Sakaja, senator for Nairobi, Kenya.

Officials of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) are today expected to interface with those of Team University to get more details about the degree acquired by Mr Johnson Sakaja, the senator for Nairobi, Kenya.
The NCHE executive director, Prof Mary Okwakol, said they are seeking to establish the validity of Mr Sakaja’s degree.

“We expect the University to submit more information on Monday (today). Our team will be at the university today enable us conclude our inquiry,” she said in an interview at the weekend.
Prof Okwakol said investigations into the matter followed a request from the Commission for University Education in Kenya dated June 6.
She said their Kenyan counterparts inquired whether Team University is accredited as a private university and whether Mr Sakaja graduated from the institution in question.

 “We immediately wrote to Team University management, asking them to verify if Mr Sakaja indeed studied there and graduated. On the same day, we received a letter from the university, confirming that Mr Sakaja was enrolled in the university and that he graduated on October 21, 2016,” she said.
 “Based on that response from Team University, we also informed the Commission for University Education that the University had confirmed to us that Mr Sakaja was enrolled and that he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Management degree,” she added.
 Prof Okwakol added that they informed Kenya that Team University has a provisional licence to operate as a private university.

 “However, following that response, there were more questions asked regarding the qualification of Mr Sakaja. This compelled us to send our staff to Team University on Thursday, June 16,  to obtain information regarding his admission, study, assessment and graduation,” she said.
 Mr Sakaja, who yesterday declared to vie for the governorship of the County of Nairobi, is accused of fraudulently obtaining the degree certificate from the Ugandan university.

The petitioners also cite discrepancies in his past account of his academic qualifications that suggested he graduated from the University of Nairobi.
Mr Sakaja has denied the allegations against him before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tribunal, maintaining that his degree from Team University is valid.
The senator is today expected appear before the Commission for University Education (CUE) to provide documents as proof of enrolment and graduation from Team University.

The Universities and other Tertiary Institutions Act, 2001, as amended empowers Uganda’s NCHE to receive and investigate complaints relating to institutions of higher education and take appropriate action.
 Prof Okwakol advises institutions of higher learning to always comply with requirements of NCHE regarding implementation of academic programmes.
Efforts to get a comment from Team University were futile as some of the administrators did not answer calls.


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