SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
By Dennis Okari
When we did â€ª#â€ŽCertificatesOfDoomâ€¬, we did so with full knowledge that there are thousands of other colleges and Universities subverting the education system through fraud.
We seem to agree almost in reverberation there is rot in our higher institutions of learning.Those who think that exposing more colleges and universities would have made the story more ‘acceptable’ are sweeping the truth under the carpet.
The strength of any Investigative story is centered on admissible evidence. What we had was Nairobi Aviation College. I wish we had more. (Don’t hesitate to reach me if you have evidence of malpractice where you are, we will do the story)
Someone rightly said, three men robbed a bank, only one was caught, is it injustice to expose him? Your guess is as good as mine.
ACCUSATION: I was paid by Kilemi Mwiria/Competitors/UAC.
They made me do the story? The lucid explanation to this, to ‘finish’ Nairobi Aviation College.
FACT: I don’t have a clue what UAC stands for. I don’t even know Kilemi Mwiria in person. There is no single proof connecting me to any organization or individuals or amount of money I was paid. The burden of proof lies with those raising these claims.
It’s interesting that â€˜motiveâ€™ rather than Truth is being dragged along a mishmash of misunderstanding, gross exaggeration, falsified claims that are just plain wrong.
ACCUSATION: We paid fake lecturers to speak.
FACT: We have pay slips complete with PIN numbers and college stamps plus signatures, Employee names and numbers, appointment letters, staff meeting photos of the lecturers I spoke to. Before we started filming we had to verify their identities. All letters signed by the HR.
ACCUSATION: The people I interviewed are bitter because they were fired.
FACT: You will be surprised. One of them approached me because his faith cannot allow him to continue serving in a flawed system. His words not mine.
ACCUSATION: The certificates we bought are not from inside the school.
FACT: Our undercover student dealt with a man who works at Nairobi Aviation College. Pampula Ignatius whose elder brother is a senior principal in one of the campuses, received Ksh 4,000 through Mpesa. He is the one who proposed a meeting at a city hotel where he was given a down payment of Ksh 1,000 on 14/01/2015 at 1:47pm.
Six hours later he called our undercover student and the two met at another hotel where he delivered three documents.
a) A brand new original Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering
b) A leaving certificate (Date of issue 19th December, 2013) *Backdated
c) An Academic Transcript with 15 units with a â€˜Bâ€™ Credit in Aeronautical Engineering.
He was paid the second installment Ksh 3,000.
Total Ksh 4,000. Everything was recorded on camera.
ACCUSATION: The documents we showed on TV are fake
FACT: We got them from the college or for argument sake an officer of the Nairobi Aviation stole copies from inside the college and sold them to us. They are genuine documents and we verified this. He is on record bragging how he has helped so many students across Nairobi Aviation campuses acquire the documents without setting foot in class.
Actually, another student from Nairobi Aviation College who had bought certificates from him gave our undercover student the number of the official.
FACT: Did we get a class 6 drop out to register as an Electricity and Electrical Engineering student? Yes we did, without any form of documentation.
He was registered after paying Ksh 7,200 on 13/01/2015 and was served by Mbula at 2:24 pm.
His fee included â€“ Activity Fee = 1,000.00
College ID Fee = 300.00
Library Fee = 1,000.00
Magazine = 320.00
Registration Fee = 500.00
Stationery Fee = 880:00
Student Welfare Fund = 200.00
Tuition Fee = 3,000.00
TOTAL = 7,200
We have undercover footage of his first day in class with the first lesson, â€˜Clinical thermometerâ€™ on 16/01/2015 in the afternoon.
ACCUSATION: The college management said yesterday, the exam papers I claimed, as â€˜Unmarkedâ€™ are fake. They donâ€™t belong to the college.
FACT: We have stacks of exam papers from four departments that were never marked in the year 2012 and 2013 (End of year).
We have admission numbers, courses, subjects and series. We have the green question papers by Nairobi Aviation College Examination Board (NACEB) plus answers from students.
Lecturers graded the students based on their feelings and how they knew the students. I don’t think those students know they wasted time doing exams and they were never marked.
How did we get them? Lecturers from inside the college gave them to us.
ACCUSATION: We never gave the Nairobi Aviation a chance to respond.
FACT: Nothing can be further from the truth. The first person I phoned was the owner, Peter Manyuru on 28/01/2015 at 8:56am
Manyuru told me he was in Bungoma and referred me to a Mr Barasa. I met Barasa and a Mr Kemboi who agreed theyâ€™ve handled cases of certificates being given out to students through dubious means and they were shocked it was still going on. They admitted there have been cases of fake certificates connected to Nairobi Aviation. It’s so clear in the TV clip.
They were not aware I was secretly filming them. I requested for an interview but they kept taking me round in circles making endless phone calls. The 2 minute clip as seen in the story is part of over an hour of going back and forth. It was either an interview or something else. That’s the impression I got.
They agreed to call me at 6pm on 29/01/2015 to confirm the person I will interview. They failed to call as agreed. I tried reaching out to the officials including the owner of Nairobi Aviation but no one wanted to speak to me. I stayed at work waiting for them until 10:21pm when I sent them a text message pleading with them to arrange for an interview the following morning 30/01/2015. Time was running out and the final edit had a gap where I was to insert their response.
Mr Manyuru sent me a text at 11:23 pm saying he couldn’t speak to me because it was late. He promised to call the following morning.
30/01/2015 Mr Barasa called me at around 9:40am asking to meet him with no cameras. They didnâ€™t want an interview and I will not speculate why, but it was clear I was not getting an interview.
The rest as they say is history but phone records and texts are evidence enough. I am told they went to court to get an injunction but i never saw it, I don’t even know who received it.
You want the truth? That’s the truth.
ACCUSATION: I have no pity for students at NAC
FACT: That’s why I did the story. The bigger picture is clear to those who can see it.
SO WHAT’S THE POINT
Nairobi Aviation has been operating without a Kenya Civil Aviation Authority accreditation for 16 years and no one bothered to check, yet they offer aviation courses.
When you pay over Ksh 300,000 to stay in class and spend hours studying for exams and someone just walks in and buys the same certificate you are struggling to get for Ksh 3,000. It should worry you.
It is painful for parents to break banks and give way for such institutions to gobble up their savings in greed. To detour off the path of those comfortable with the status quo, my conscious will not allow me.
Will I bury my head in the sand because every college and university cheats and I should leave everyone alone? A thousand times NO.
It was apparent the rot in Nairobi Aviation had to be unfurled by someone to conjure up a sober conversation.
When your institution is riddled with corruption and other vices, someone should expose it. That fight is ugly and involves sweat and blood but it should wake you up. Throwing stones at a building and causing chaos is only punching the air.
Of course I feel terrible for innocent students but two wrongs don’t make a right.
Students need to channel their outrage to the management. Ask the questions I would have asked and GET ANSWERS.