Economy

Court orders Moi University to award degree to Karatina graduate

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Moi University in Eldoret. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The Supreme Court has ordered Moi University to award a degree to a student who was admitted to the institution in 2009 but later transferred to Karatina where he graduated.

The country’s apex court agreed with Mr Zaippeline Oindi that he should be awarded a bachelor’s degree from Moi University and not its former constituent college, where he graduated in 2014.

The Supreme Court said in the absence of a proper mechanism to address the fate of the students transferred to campus that transform into full-fledged universities, learners are entitled to be graduated by the university that admitted them.

Mr Oindi was admitted to Moi University in 2009  which posted him to the then Central Kenya Campus in Karatina before it was granted a charter and became a fully-fledged university in 2013.

Mr Oindi and 39 other students had challenged the university’s bid to grant them a certificate from Karatina, arguing that it was a violation of their right because they expected to get a degree from Moi University.

His colleagues later withdrew their claims but Mr Oindi pursued the matter but lost in the High Court when Justice James Wakiaga ruled that his legitimate expectation to be conferred a degree by Moi University was extinguished by operation of law when Karatina was granted a charter.

The Judge also said Mr Oindi had no contractual relationship with Moi University as he dismissed his case.

He then moved to the Court of Appeal and a bench of three judges led by current Chief Justice Marta Koome agreed with him and directed Mr Oindi to be conferred a degree from Moi University.

The university then moved to the Supreme Court seeking to reverse the decision.

The Supreme Court dismissed the university’s appeal and nullified Karatina University degree certificate.

He argued that by virtue of his admission as a student of Moi University, his legitimate expectation was to be awarded and conferred a degree from Moi and not Karatina.

He termed the decision to confer him a degree from Karatina University as an academic fraud.