Deputy President William Ruto defrauded his way into his doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Nairobi by paying a university professor to write his entire dissertation at the School of Biological Sciences, Kenyan Report can exclusively reveal.
As result, the embattled Deputy President who twice forced to defend his thesis, created serious erosion on the academic integrity of the UoN and credibility of his dissertation titled “Influence of Anthropogenic Activities on Land Use/Cover Changes and Environmental Quality of Saiwa Wetland Watershed, Western Kenya” thrown into serious doubt.
According to a highly placed confidential source who spoke to Kenyan Report on condition of anonymity, Prof Japhet Micheni Ntiba, currently Fisheries PS, conspired with “Dr” Ruto to write the complete PhD dissertation from scratch. In the end what remained for Ruto to do was was to append his signature on the document and later make defense of the same at UoN.
The source adds Prof Ntiba was ‘generously’ compensated by the DP for his good work and it is believed the money he received was invested in farming and real estate, with the PS promised a senior public appointment in the Jubilee government.
In 2013, Ntiba, a former associate professor at UoN, controversially won the approval of parliamentary vetting after Jubilee Party exercised its majority to force his appointment as Principal Secretary. He was then the only PS nominee to have been rejected by majority MPs over integrity issues.
UoN is Kenya’s most prestigious university and it will be interesting to see what their reaction is to the emerging academic scandal. In the past, the campus has vigorously fought allegations undermining its academic integrity.
Due to Ruto’s expanding role in national politics, the UoN Senate has been inundated with inquiries to subject Ruto’s dissertation to verification by an international plagiarism detection software but this request has been flatly rejected.
Ruto’s academic fraud first came to light when he failed to graduate in 2016 after missing out on what was said to be set requirements.
At that time, Ruto wanted to make it appear like his failure to graduate was due to technical reasons than anything else. Media quoted him as saying:
“I urge all colleges to observe set standards and award certificates to students purely on merit,” Ruto said when confronted by journalists at a past function at that time.
One of the UoN dons to whom Ruto initially made a presentation expressed his dismay and the DP’s lack of understanding of his own dissertation. It was obvious during this encounter Ruto did not author the neatly bound document bearing his name and signature.
Also, many within the UoN senate had dismissed Ruto’s research paper as having no useful contribution to knowledge required of a dissertation at doctoral level.
The DP already holds a Bachelor’s degree in Botany and Zoology and a masters in Plant Ecology but these are yet to be exhaustively investigated.