27 June 2012

Kenya: Baraton VC Faces Contempt of Court Charge

The High Court in Eldoret has summoned Baraton University Vice Chancellor Miriam Mwita and other two other top officials of the institution for contempt of court. Deputy VC Prof Fred Amimo and deans of students and women students Job Rotich and Pamella Amba respectively have been ordered to appear in person before Justice Abigael Mshilla on July 17.

The four risk going to jail for six month for disobeying court orders in a case filed by a student Millicent Otieno, who was suspended and later expelled from the university as she was preparing to graduate on July 24 last year. The court had on July 19 ordered the university to let Otieno, who had been expelled over alleged misbehaviour, to graduate. "An order is hereby issued directing the persons named to organise a separate graduation for the student in the prescribed manner within seven days in compliance with the court issued on July 19, 2011", said the court order.

However, the university failed to comply with the order and Otieno through lawyer Paul Gicheru filed contempt proceedings against the VC and the three other officials. Githeru has accused the the four officials of failing to comply with a court order to ensure that Otieno graduates. "It's grossly unfair and inappropriate for the persons placed in positions of responsibility to belittle and flout court orders particularly where the subject in issue is the universal right to education,", says Otieno in her affidavit filed before the High Court. She claims that the university tampered with her examination results to show that she had failed her examinations and therefore not eligible to graduate.

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