If Both Houses Could Be Vetted On Academic Qualifications, We Would Have Empty Chambers

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The recent annulment of Mithika Linturi’s Law degree by the University of Nairobi is a very interesting move by an academic institution.

Knowing how the balls play, Linturi just did not know how to be Kenyan enough. His case brings afore sentiments that clearly he goofed by going to UON.

Mheshimiwa should have chosen to study at a university where if a man of his caliber and stature is caught in such a demeaning web, then the whole Senate, Council and Minister comes to their defense and such Institutions are sprouted all over the Country.

An embarrassing number of Universities offer degrees to anybody who cares to pay his way through the programme. In Kenya getting a university degree is for the willing. Even village wags parade their papers at chief’s barazas.

In many ‘ free market universities’ the rules are very clear ‘ nobody fails’. The lecturers are under strict instructions to ensure all the enrolled students graduate with very good grades or flying colors.

READ: Top Kenya Pipeline Executive Peter Mbugua, Found to be Having Fake Academic Papers

By the way, Linturi is far much better than many graduates who have gone through the normal channels. At least he can speak English, write and even legislate in the house. I have watched him severally on local TV channels engaging in serious debates. Save for his heavy influence of mother tongue accent, he leaves no doubt whatsoever about his competence to articulate issues.

This begs the question, what went wrong?

If the entire parliament was to be vetted by an independent organ (not government appointed) we may have empty chambers.

I know some old man now deceased who worked in a government office and sat in various boards using his brother’s documents. He even worked to retirement. How did this happen?

The elder brother graduated from a foreign university when degree certificates were written differently. There were no passport pictures required for registration and Kenyans could enter the UK without visas.

The first two names could be abbreviated with the surname written in full. Example if the older sibling was called Peter Njuguna Wanyoike it would appear as P.A. Wanyoike written in beautiful calligraphy.

Now imagine a situation where the younger brother is called Philip Njenga Wanyoike. They would both be P.A. Wanyoike. Assume the older one passes on at a very young age say 28 years while still a bachelor. What would stop the younger one using the deceased’s certificate to get a job as a top civil servant?

In the civil service, you just need to be politically correct and nobody would question your competence. As a boss you intimidate your juniors into submission and ensure they actually work as you do the signatures on important documents. Life continues.

There are so many Kenyans with funny lower qualifications who took advantage of the so called ‘free market education system’ in Kenya to acquire degrees and big jobs.

A number of sitting Governors, Legislators and even lawyers have questionable academic backgrounds and it answers the hovering question on why we get poor services in the public sector. We also ask why we have Governors who cannot sustain a conversation in English with key donors. Leave Linturi alone!

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Written by Kahawa Tungu


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