Nominated Member of Parliament Wilson Sossion has accused Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i of being behind the decision to cancel plans to award COTU boss Francis Atwoli an honorary degree by Masinde Muliro University.The university was set to award Mr. Atwoli a Doctorate in
Labour Relations degree on Friday, December 15, during theuniversity’s 12th annual graduation ceremony in honour of hisrole as head of the labour movement in Kenya.The university, however, reversed its decision to award
Atwoli an honorary degree without giving any reasons.In a letter to Dr. Matiang’i, Mr. Sossion, who is also the
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General,suggested that the Education CS had interfered with theprocess to fete Atwoli.
“I post my disappointment at the move taken by you (CS
Matiang’i) to cancel the scheduled conferment of the award
to Mr. Atwoli. In the same breath, I join other Kenyans with
sound minds to demand in no equivocal terms that Mr.
Atwoli be honoured as approved by the university council
and senate come December 15,2017,” said Sossion.
“It is really disturbing for the Ministry of Education, which is
charged with the responsibility of protecting educational
institutions’ and to operate independently, to interfere with
the day-to-day running of universities,” he added.
On November 5, 2017, Masinde Muliro University ran an advert in a local daily headlined “Proposed Award and
Proposed Conferment of Honorary Degree of Doctors in Humane Letters (Labour Relations)” giving reasons for the Award including a mention of Atwoli being one of the founders of the University.
On Sunday, Mr. Atwoli expressed his surprise at the move to cancel the plans to award him saying: “I was excited when I received the communication but the university has been forced to cancel the plan.”Atwoli was speaking at a fundraiser at the Eshimbi ACK
Church in Butere, Kakamega County.