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Teacher Fired By TSC Over University Fee Arrears

Joseph Mutimba was fired by The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) over a degree dispute originating from university fee arrears. The secondary school teacher had purportedly obtained his degree certificate from Masinde Muliro University (MMUST) without clearing his fees amounting to Sh198,800.

MMUST later questioned how the teacher obtained a certificate while still having payment arrears cancelling his Bachelor of Education (Arts) degree and shortly after, TSC suspended him.

Mitumba filed a lawsuit against MMUST for infringing his rights under Article 28 of the Constitution which states that “Every person has inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected.”

High Court Judge William Musyoka consented to his demands but refused to award him damages on the basis that he had missed explaining how the degree certificate got into his possession.

“The petitioner has not come clean on how he gained possession of the certificate after it disappeared from the custody of the respondent (MMUST),” the judge explained in his decision delivered last week on October 16th.

Justice Musyoka appended that it was improper for the Kakamega based university to reach the TSC asserting that the professional certificate he had used to seek employment was fake, yet the teacher had passed all his exams and successfully graduated.

The university pronounced in court that his name was mistakenly inserted in the graduation roster although he had not completed paying school expenses.

Mutimba who graduated on 6th of December 2013, revealed to the court that he got hired by TSC in 2016 but the situation slipped when he got a note from the university in May 2019 recalling his degree certificate.

Upon interrogation from TSC, he was acquainted that his payroll had been suspended following a report from the university over his fee arrears. Mutimba was amongst a group of fee defaulters whose names were published by MUST, attesting that their degree certificates had been revoked.


The court noted that TSC made it apparent that republication of the same certificate with a new serial number would not resolve the matter since Mutimba was initially hired based on the old certificate.

The court directed that for Mutimba to get reinstated by TSC, he ought to get a fresh degree certificate with a new serial number.

Mutimba’s legal battle with the university resulted from the institution revoking his degree and declining to reinstate it.

After filing a lawsuit at the Employment and Labour Relations Court TSC was blocked from withholding his salary after the court found out that Mutimba had satisfied all academic qualifications and had graduated.

However, the court declined to grant orders asked in the case due to the fee arrears claim. The university had originally submitted to republish the old certificate but TSC rejected. The teacher then applied to the High Court, challenging MMUST’s decision to reprint.

In its reply, the university alleged that Mutimba had difficulty clearing fees, and regularly sought late registration of examinations. The teacher’s name was included in the graduation program but the university reserved his degree certificate till fee arrears were settled.

Back in June 2015, MMUST reported to the police that Mutimba’s degree certificate had been stolen prompting the university to revoke his documents. It is alleged that Mutimba got employed by TSC through a stolen degree certificate.



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