Mombasa governor’s papers saga takes new twist

Kampala.

As a fresh inquiry into how Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho acquired an academic transcript starts, five officials at the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) have recorded statements with the Police Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID).

The five distanced themselves from having attended a meeting that purportedly cleared the Kenyan politician’s papers.In some of the statements, detectives were told that Mr Joho was only cleared at the whim of NCHE executive director John Opuda-Asibo, outside the institution’s procedures – where such cases are handled by the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Committee (AQAC).

One of the statements recorded on March 3 from the NCHE internal auditor, Mr Walter Nono, indicates the officer, who is part of the approval process, had only learnt about the matter in the newspapers.Last December, Prof Opuda-Asibo wrote to the Ministry of Education indicating that NCHE had cleared Mr Joho after getting satisfied that his degree was duly awarded and urged CIID to halt their parallel investigations. On Monday, police held Prof Opuda-Asibo for some hours as he recorded a statement. Efforts to speak to the embattled executive director proved futile as his phones remained switched off.

Mr Phenny Birungi, the director Research, Development and Documentation at NCHE, said in his statement with CIID that they were still waiting for a report from the director CIID about Mr Joho’s case so that the council can make a resolution on the matter.

The other three members of staff of NCHE who recorded statements include Faridah Bukirwa , the legal officer, Arthur Muguzi (principal finance officer) and Mr Acato Yeko (director Human Resource).

In a February 27 letter to Prof Jack Nyeko Pen-Mogi, the NCHE Chairman, Prof Opuda-Asibo protested that if the AQAC goes ahead to carry out fresh investigations into Mr Joho’s case, it will be like usurping his powers.

“For the AQAC to say that it has initiated investigations, if true, would be a usurpation of management function contrary to the well-known principle of corporate governance and Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act IV (staff of the National Council),” Prof Opuda said in a letter dated February 27.Prof Badru Katerega, the vice chancellor Kampala University, insists that Mr Joho offered a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a diploma in human resource at the university under the in-service programme.

the investigation• When council receives a complaint about academic papers , the matter is forwarded to the Quality Assurance Committee to carry out the investigations in consultation with Uganda National Examinations Board and later give a report to council But if the matter has criminal aspects, the council can refer the case to CIID to investigate before taking any action. • The Rev John Ssenyonyi, the vice chancellor Uganda Christian University, chairs NCHE’s AQAC but efforts to get his comment proved futile yesterday as his known telephone was switched off.• When contacted yesterday Prof Jack Nyeko Pen-Mogi said the AQAC should be given a chance to do its work without interference.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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