The University of Nairobi (UoN) has been ordered to pay a former student Sh500,000 for delaying his master’s degree program for five years.
Justice Weldon Korir faulted the institution for being unfair to the petitioner, Paulpeter Makanda Makokha, hence the compensation.
“The petitioner has also established that the unwarranted delay in the completion of his master’s studies violated his right to education. He had a legitimate expectation that he would complete his degree course within two years, as indicated in the letter of admission,” Justice Korir said.
Mr Makhoha told the court that he enrolled for the program in 2009 and should have graduated in two years but lack of cooperation from his supervisor, Robinson M Ocharo, saw him graduate in 2016.
The petitioner tabled text messages showing how he sought audience with Mr Ocharo without success.
Some times, he said, he travelled from Kakamega to Nairobi only to find that his supervisor was unavailable.
Mr Ocharo did not answer his then student’s calls or text messages.
This, he said, was a violation of his Constitutional rights.
He also noted that the delayed graduation hurt his chances of securing employment.
The five year delay, he said, affected the perception of potential employers, on his capabilities.
Apart from compensation, Mr Makhoha sought to have the institution have in place measures ensuring values espoused by its Charter of Service Delivery, are adhered to.
In response, however, UoN argued that the ex-post graduate student did not exhaust all the dispute resolution mechanisms before heading to court.
The institution also claimed that writing a thesis was an academic process hence there was no guarantee that the complainant could have graduated within the two year period.
Their defence was thrown out as it lacked merit.