Govt Demotes University VC Over Questionable Degree

  • The Maasai Mara University
    The Maasai Mara University
  • Former Masai Mara University Vice-Chancellor Kitche Onyango Magak is now the subject of investigations to unravel the truth behind his PhD.

    Media reports indicate that Magak was demoted from his acting VC capacity after it was established that he acquired the degree from Washington International University (WIU), which is not recognized by Kenya's Commission for University Education.

    Magak had been appointed as the acting VC to replace Prof Mary Walingo who was sent packing to allow investigations over corruption at the institution since 2019.

    The professor is now under investigations by both the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

    Outgoing Maasai Mara University Vice-Chancellor Kitche Onyango Magak.
    Outgoing Maasai Mara University Vice-Chancellor Kitche Onyango Magak.
    People Daily

    His troubles began in 2021 after new complaints emerged regarding the then acting VC's qualifications to occupy the leadership role.

    The complainants specifically told Education CS Prof George Magoha that Magak did not possess a valid PhD certificate which then sparked investigations into his conduct.

    “The university has not sought educational accreditation and does not have a campus. As recently as October 2012, the Oregon Office of Degree Authorisation stated on its website that WIU is located in the British Virgin Islands and that its degrees are not recognised.

    “As a centre that is mandated to combat cheating, plagiarism, academic dishonesty and champion for integrity, we, therefore, urge you to take necessary action,’’ the team urged Magoha.

    A letter from the Department of Education in the State of Hawaii had earlier indicated that WIU was shut down by the state in 2015 after a short period as a Diploma college.

    “Note, therefore that, there is no university by the name of Washington International University (WIU) in the state of Hawaii or Pennsylvania,” read the statement from the State of Hawaii.

    The outgoing professor was replaced by Professor Joseph Chacha in an acting capacity who also vowed to return the embattled institution back to its glory days.

    “I was the pioneer of this university and it feels great to be back here. I promise to create a leadership system that will ensure teamwork with all the staff, both academic and non-teaching staff.

    “We need to redeem the image of this great university,” stated Chacha while taking over.

     Maasai Mara University VC Mary Walingo who is set to resume duties on Sunday, March 9.
    Maasai Mara University VC Mary Walingo who is set to resume duties on Sunday, March 9.