A number of universities in Kenya have revoked degree and diploma certificates awarded to students through fraudulent means, among them politicians, as they comply with tough requirements from the higher education regulator.
The Commission for University Education has since approved the revocation as required by law, while warning that more fraudulently acquired certificates would also be revoked.
Its chairman Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha warned that those with fake certificates must know that their days were numbered as the institution would not relent in ensuring that the country had quality graduates.
Prof Nyaigotti-Chacha, however, declined to reveal the institutions and the names of the affected, saying it would be unfair to expose them now.
“During our audit of universities, it emerged that students were holding onto certificates that they had acquired without following the laid-down procedures and we advised the affected institutions to cancel them without duress,” he said.
He said universities were under strict instructions to ensure that they awarded degree and other certificates to students who met the requirements.
Last month, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, in a public notice, revoked degree certificates it had awarded to 16 students due to fraud and other examination malpractices.
It informed CUE of the decision to withdraw or cancel the degree certificates.
The certificates were recalled after it emerged that some of the recipients had graduated despite having pending cases, some sat exams despite not being eligible, while others had forged their certificates by colluding with some staff at the university.
Another public university also revoked a number of diploma certificates it had awarded to Members of County Assemblies in 2016.
However, the institution leadership declined to discuss the issue, insisting that it was confidential as most of the victims were politicians.
Last year, CUE revoked doctorate of philosophy degrees awarded to five students by Kisii University in December 2014.
Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi was currently facing charges in court for allegedly being in possession of fake academic papers after he presented the allegedly forged certificates to the electoral commission as he sought nomination in the 2013 General Election.
To get jobs
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission says Mr Sudi’s Diploma Certificate in Business Management and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education certificate were forged.
Mr Ronald Kiprotich Melly, who claimed to be a medical doctor, was also in court as the University of Nairobi’s School of Medicine has denied that he was their student.
Early this year, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i criticised the Judiciary over the rising cases of fake academic papers in the country.
He observed that the institution was giving those in possession of fake academic papers an opportunity to get jobs, insisting that one did not need to go to court to prove that he went to university or college.
Dr Matiang’i lamented that most people with fake academic certificates had taken advantage of the Judiciary, where they rush to seek court orders to be allowed to secure opportunities using the questionable qualifications.