Let’s build an integrity-based society

Thursday April 20 2017

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho at Prima Bins offices in Mombasa on April 6, 2017 where he issued driving licences to youth. He should explain how he transferred from the most prestigious Kenyan university to a private third-rate institution. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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The recent confession by Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho that he obtained a D-Minus in his 1993 KCSE exam before miraculously acquiring two university degrees and amassing wealth has raised numerous important issues that require serious interrogation.

First, can any credible university admit a person with a D-Minus high school grade?

Second, since a D-Minus in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination is not a bridgeable grade, did the University of Nairobi that admitted Joho to its Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree course before he “transferred his credits” to the discredited Kampala International University (KIU) in Uganda commit an indictable offence?

Third, bearing in mind that Joho obtained an E grade in commerce, did the university waive its admission requirements in order to allow him to study the much-sought- after BCom?

Fourth, is there any credible explanation why a prominent MP (which is what Joho was when he allegedly joined the KIU) would “transfer” from the most prestigious Kenyan university to a private third-rate institution?

Fifth, how was Joho able to serve as a full-time MP for Kisauni while at the same time complying with academic requirements for a full-time undergraduate programme, including mandatory sessional residency and class attendance in a foreign country?

Sixth, why should an exception be made for Joho to continue serving as Mombasa Governor, a position which constitutionally requires the holder to have a legitimate degree from a university recognised in Kenya, when it’s self-evident that whatever degrees he claims to have could not have been genuinely obtained?

Eric Kiraithe, the Government Spokesman, published an erudite article in the Nation of April 14, in which he argued that Joho “can close this matter very easily” by explaining how he was able to obtain legitimate degrees from universities with a D-Minus.


However, I’m not persuaded that the onus is on Joho to self-incriminate.

As Kiraithe correctly argues, there is absolutely “no [genuine] route to university with a D-Minus”.

The duty is on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Kenya Police Service, Directorate of Public Prosecutions, EACC, Knec, Ministry of Education and the Judiciary to bring Joho and his accomplices, including the University of Nairobi and Greitsa University, to account for what is clearly an open and shut case of conspiracy to defeat justice, academic fraud, forgery and numerous violations of the integrity provisions in Chapter Six of the Constitution.

I’ve read an assortment of lame excuses of Joho by otherwise respected public intellectuals who have tried to diminish the importance of hard work, academic excellence and the centrality of intellectual competence and personal integrity in policy conceptualisation, formulation, application and governance by invoking the late Prof Ali Mazrui’s name and claiming, falsely, that he had “failed” in his “O-Levels” before becoming a world-renowned scholar.


Mazrui was never involved in forgery and academic fraud.

He repeated his O-Levels, passed and joined Oxford University in England, where he excelled.

In 1975, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University.

He did so because he was a true genius who opted to spend most of his time inventing.

Similarly, Steve Jobs, who gave us Apple, dropped out of Reed College.

Like Gates, Jobs was a straight A student who dropped out of university to pursue his creativity and innovation.

Let’s build an integrity-and-merit-based society; not one suffocated by academic fraudsters, forgers and scoundrels.

Mr Miguna is an aspirant for Governor of Nairobi, is a lawyer and an author. [email protected]