The High Court has ordered the University of Nairobi to pay a former graduate Mr. Paulpeter Makanda Makokha, 500,000 shillings for delaying his master’s degree graduation for five years.
Paulpeter Makanda Makokha is a former graduate at the University of Nairobi who was admitted to the university in August 2009 for a master’s degree that was supposed to take two years according to evidence presented to the court.
The court evidence further indicates that Mr. Makokha started his coursework in January 2010 and upon completion, he was assigned Robinson M Ocharo in 2012, as his supervisor to oversee him before he graduates.
Mr. Makokha however narrates to the court that his supervisor Mr. Robinson was always unavailable and due to the unavailability and a lack of co-operation, Makokha ended up graduating in December 2016 after being signed with another supervisor.
Makokha says that it’s the same unavailability of his supervisor while at UoN which led to the postponement of his graduation, actions Makokha described as a violation of his constitutional rights by the university.
The former graduate Mr. Makokha laments to the court that UoN sabotaged his chances of securing employment due to the incomplete master’s studies on time which later delayed his graduation.
Makokha said to the court that it was unfair of the university to take his studies for granted to an extent of him taking five years to complete a two-year course, even after millions of complaints during that period.
Through KMK Africa Law Advocates, Makokha, therefore, presented his case before Justice Weldon Korir accusing the University of Nairobi of wasting his time, delaying his graduation, and limiting his chances of being employed.
In his ruling, Justice Weldon Korir noted that Makokha is not responsible for any delay in his studies and therefore the university is, the judge then ordered UoN to compensate him 500,000 shillings.
“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,” the judge said.
The institution lawyers in defense said it was not guaranteed that Makokha would take exactly two years to complete his studies. They added that writing a thesis is an academic process and not an event and thus entails fulfillment of academic standards before one can be cleared to proceed to the next level.
Justice Korir however responded to the UoN lawyers that there was no evidence that Mr. Makokha delayed the writing of the thesis.