It all started as a rumour when students from Moi University’s Main Campus in Eldoret began debating about the merits and demerits of their university awarding its honorary degree to President Uhuru Kenyatta, a man charged at an International Criminal Court. But now, indications are that the Eldoret based institution will most likely honour Uhuru Kenyatta in its upcoming graduation ceremony.
After announcing that the graduation was to be held today, the university abruptly pushed the dates to “further notice”, ostensibly to give the president time to attend. A source at Moi University stated the graduation was pushed to a later date to allow the institution upgrade its fledgling infrastructure to presidential standards. However, the institution’s professors, just as the students, are divided down the middle, accusing the university management of politicising a purely academic tradition.
The University, known for missing marks, dirty toilets and large numbers of Kalenjin administrators is said to have first toiled with the idea of rewarding William Ruto, a fellow Kalenjin, but the plans were shelved for the big fish. Ruto’s honorary is said to be coming in the year 2015, assuming The Hague has not jailed him for life.
Back to the students debate. So divided were the students that some threatened to petition Commission for University Education in Kenya on the potential misuse of the award for political and economic gains, rather than for intellectual ends.
But really, does Uhuru Kenyatta deserve a distinguished academic recognition? To date, his own alma mater, Amherst University in the United States, where he is alleged to have undertaken his undergraduate studies, has refused to recognise him by sending formal congratulation after one of its students became president of an African country.
Anyway, Moi University, currently under a kalenjin, seems intent in making history. Soon, thanks for a junior university in Kenya, we shall have Dr. Uhuru Kenyatta. Seriously?