The High Court in Nakuru has ordered Egerton University to pay Sh250,000 as compensation for damages to a student whose graduation has been delayed for more than four years over missing marks.
Justice Rachael Ng’etich, further directed the university to ensure Mr Simon Okwaro Habu graduates during the next graduation ceremony.
The court declared Mr Habu eligible for graduation after completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and Extension programme.
In her ruling, Ms Ngetich noted that the delay in Mr Okwaro’s graduation had subjected him to mental torture and hardship, noting that the issue of missing marks was not his fault.
“It is no doubt that the petitioner has been inconvenienced by the delayed graduation, there is no doubt that he may have lost employment opportunities and the delay has subjected him to mental torture and hardship.
For what the petitioner has been subjected to due to the fault of the respondent, he deserves general damages as prayed in the plaint,” ruled Justice Ngetich.
Mr Okwaro moved to court in November 12, 2018 accusing the university of refusing to let him graduate over missing grades and failing to clear fee arrears.
Through his Lawyer Antoinette Ogange, Mr Okwaro claimed he had been admitted at the university in 2010 to study the degree course which he cleared in 2014.
He was issued with a course completion notification letter and a recommendation letter on June 3, 2014.
His shocker, however, came when he applied for graduation and his application was declined after the university claimed he had missing grades in his provisional transcript and also had not paid Sh3,360 fees arrears.
He followed up the matter with his lecturers who submitted the marks and cleared the arrears in 2015. However, his name was again omitted on the graduation list in 2016.
When he inquired from the finance department, he was informed that he had not paid credit transfer charges and that he owed the university Sh200,000 fee arrears.
Mr Okwaro complained that the university had failed to disclose to the court that it had set up a special programme where students would complete their studies in 3 years.
The university had, however, claimed that the petitioner had failed some units while in first year and had refused to re-sit the exams besides failing to clear an outstanding balance of Sh240,000.
The court however, found out that Mr Okwaro had demonstrated having resat the unit and had been cleared by all the departments.
“It would not be fair for the university to demand arrears again after clearing the student, there is therefore no justification to deny the petitioner opportunity to graduate,” read part of the judgement by Justice Ng’etich.