Wednesday, April 24, 2024

University defends Joho degree award

kateregga-picKampala University has dismissed the verdict by Uganda’s higher education regulator that Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho fraudulently obtained a degree certificate from the institution.

Sunday, Prof Badru Kateregga, the institution’s vice chancellor told reporters in Nairobi that only the Senate could revoke a certificate the university issued to students and it was not the business of any other agency to determine the authenticity of its certificates.

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“No authority in Uganda be it be the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) or otherwise is clothed with the legal mandate to recall, cancel or revoke Mr Hassan Joho’s degree apart from Kampala University’s Senate, he told a news conference at the Serena Hotel.

“As far as Kampala University Senate is concerned, the degree award to Mr Hassan Joho is bona fide, lawful and authentic.

The same was genuinely awarded and Kampala University Senate cannot and will not recall, revoke or cancel an award it deems to be valid.”

Prof Kateregga was responding to an announcement last Wednesday by the NCHE that Mr Joho obtained the degree outside the allowed procedure.

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The council chaired by Prof Nyeko Pen-Mogi adopted the recommendations of a sub-committee which had been asked to investigate how the governor obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the private university.

“There was no clear evidence that academic due process was followed from admission to graduation regarding a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (Human Resource Management option) awarded to Mr Hassan Ali Joho by Kampala University,” the council said in a resolution.

In its April 30, 2013 report, the NCHE said it does not recognise Mr Joho’s degree.

Last week, a Mombasa judge, Edward Muriithi directed that a case challenging the academic credentials of the governor be forwarded to the Chief Justice for further direction.

But the University insists neither NCHE nor Joho’s political competitors should tell the world how authentic a degree certificate is.

“It is not a political rival in Mombasa to come and tell the university that your candidate did not go through process. Once the senate has expressed itself over the matter, it means the university is satisfied. It is not you who is bringing politics from Kenya to come and tell us we think he didn’t.”

“We don’t want this Mombasa politics played in our education system. On the question where these people (NCHE) are saying they may not recognise this degree.

The law does not require them to recognise any degree.

The duty of National councils is to accredit programmes, once the programmes have been accredited; the question of degree awarding is the question of university senate.”

The university charges that the Council had an ill motive in making the announcement especially since it had been barred by a court of law before.

Doubts over Mr Joho’s degree emerged shortly after he was voted in last year.

Rivals charge that he did not attend classes at the University as is required and that he was awarded a certificate whose course was launched after he enrolled.

The University dismisses these claims. Prof Kateregga said the course, Business Administration, was launched 15 years ago, and Joho joined the university in 2009.

A student takes three years to earn it.

Mr Joho is said to have graduated on Feb 28, 2013.

Yet the NCHE had said that Mr Joho may not have been in Uganda to physically undertake studies. It was acting on the recommendations of a committee chaired by Mr S H Nsubuga, which had it had that Mr Joho “fraudulently obtained the said qualifications from Kampala University” and that he “neither qualified for admission to the degree programme nor was he subjected to the due process.”

The committee also found that Mr Joho paid his entire fee for the programme in lump sum.

Although the university provided an admission letter, degree transcripts, graduation list and graduation day photographs to support Mr Joho’s degree claim but the committee still dismissed them as forgeries.

Kampala University Vice Chancellor Prof Badru Kateregga addresses the Press at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi, on May 18, 2014. He only the Senate could revoke a certificate the university issued to students and it was not the business of any other agency to determine the authenticity of its certificates. PHOTO/JEFF ANGOTE

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