How CUE Commissioners’ Irregular Allowances Exposed Systemic Corruption In The Education Sector

By The Weekly Vision Reporter

The Commission for University Education (CUE) is embroiled in controversy, with its commissioners being accused of holding unnecessary board meetings and earning millions of shillings in allowances. In the fiscal year 2022-2023 alone, the commissioners were paid a total of Ksh. 10,536,074 in remunerations.

Investigations conducted by The Weekly Vision reveal that the meetings organized by the full board and committees surpassed the recommended threshold. A total of eight special meetings were conducted without obtaining the necessary approval from the Cabinet Secretary for Education. Commissioners held 11 full board meetings, while the recommended number is between 4 and 6 meetings. It means five illegal meetings were held and allowances paid. In addition, the board meetings were allegedly held virtually; however, virtual log-ins cannot be traced to authenticate the occurrence of the said meetings. 

The Audit, Risk, and Compliance Committee, which is allowed to hold between 4-6 meetings, also held 11 meetings, meaning 5 meetings were held and allowances were paid illegally. The Quality Assurance Committee, which is authorized to hold between 4 and 6 meetings, held 7 meetings, meaning they held 1 illegal meeting. The Human Resources and Finance Committee held 13 meetings, yet they are only allowed to hold between 4 and 6 meetings.

Accusing fingers are now being appointed to the CUE board chaired by Prof. Chacha Nyaigoti Chacha, who was appointed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in May 2021 for 4 years. Also on the chopping board is CEO Mike Kuria, who was appointed by then-Cabinet Secretary for Education, the late Prof. George Magoha, in 2022. He replaced Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi, whose contract had expired.

CUE hit the headlines in the run-up to the 2022 general elections after it revoked then-Kenya Senator Johnson Sakaja’s degree. In a letter to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, CUE said that by the conclusion of investigations into the authenticity of the degree issued by Team University in Uganda, the governor aspirant had not submitted any proof that he attended any classes at the Ugandan university.

The commission, in a letter to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission revoking Sakaja’s degree, reads, “The Commission hereby notifies you that recognition of the qualification of the purported Bachelor of Science in Management (External) degree from Team University, issued to one Sakaja Johnson Arthur, which was presented to your good office in compliance with the provisions of Section 22(2) of the Elections Act and Regulation 47 of the Election (General) Regulations, 2012, is revoked.”.