By Samuel Ndalusia
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, a Jubilee party politician from the Mount Kenya region has been deregistered by the University of Nairobi as a law student after it emerged that he used fake documents to obtain admission into the University.
The senator who was scheduled to graduate next month has been dealt a big blow by the University’s Senate which discussed and decided to revoke his admission following intensive investigations that led to the discovery that the degree from an Indian university that he used to gain admission and study for a law degree at University of Nairobi in 2014 was not genuine.
“Universities admit students on the basis of their qualifications and if it is discovered that you forged your document then the institution is at liberty to stop you from continuing with your studies,” stated an officer at the university.
Senator Linturi was among 106 leaders the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) presented to the electoral commission in June for having pending integrity issues. The High Court had barred the EACC from investigating the Meru Senator’s academic qualifications but later (on June 30) allowed EACC to proceed with the investigation after it became apparent that the Senator was not a graduate of the University of Nairobi and that he had in 2013 falsified a form that he presented to the electoral body.
In his ruling, Justice Said Juma Chitembwe said the investigation being undertaken by EACC was part of its administrative action and that the court could not interfere, noting that since the investigation had not been concluded, the legislator had the opportunity to be heard before a final decision was made. “There will be no irreparable damage to be suffered by the petitioner if he is to appear before the commission,” said Justice Juma Chitembwe, adding that: “We’re all governed by the constitution. Granting orders being sought by the petitioner is tantamount to barring EACC from carrying its duty.”
Following the decision by the University of Nairobi Senate to deregister Senator Linturi from the University, the Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi now was an introduction of a database that will help identify authentic from fake degrees. Matiangi is concerned that the Kenyan government cannot at the moment determine if diploma and/or a degree certificates in the country are authentic or not genuine.
“What we are doing here is ending anarchy in the certification and qualification processes in the country. I think the rain started beating with the massif cation of universities in the country. Currently you will meet 7 people who have studied for different periods yet they have the same certificate, we need to put an end to that,” said Matiangi as quoted while speaking on Thursday at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
Mr Matiangi also spoke on the issue of politicians misusing their powers and influence to obtain forged academic papers which as a result has brought about a lot of law suits. “We are facing a lot of problems at Jogoo House because all manner of politicians are suing us after we clear politicians to run for elective seats. To solve that, we are forced to write to the country which that politician studied to establish the authenticity of the degree,” Matiangi lamented.
Mr Linturi is separately facing a petition filed by Mr Mugambi Imanyara, who ran for the Meru senatorial seat on Party of National Unity (PNU) ticket and has now challenged the senator’s election win, questioning his integrity. The case is currently pending before the Meru High Court and will begin its hearing on December 11.