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Graduands follow proceedings during the University of Nairobi graduation ceremony on Friday 02/12/16. [PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO/Standard]
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto on Friday skipped the 56th University of Nairobi (UoN) graduation which they were both expected to attend.

While the President was the invited Chief Guest, DP Ruto was expected to graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Plant Ecology.

Uhuru was however awarded with an honorary doctorate degree in absentia for his selfless service to the country.

"The UON is extremely privileged to witness the conferment of an honorary doctorate degree to President Uhuru Kenyatta in recognition of his selfless service to the people of our great country, Kenya," read a statement from the institution's council chair Dr Idle Farah.

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Hours before the D-day, Ruto had taken to his social media page to explain why he will not be receiving his highly publicized doctorate degree.

In the post, while urging universities to ensure only those who merit are awarded the certificates, Ruto said he had missed on requirements set to graduate.

"I urge all colleges to observe set standards and award certificates to students purely on merit," said Ruto.

He added: "As a PhD student, I have subjected myself to that standard. I was due to graduate tomorrow but I can't because of requirement."

Ruto is therefore expected to graduate next year in December with his doctorate in Philosophy in Plant Ecology whose research is based on the impact of human activities on riparian reserves being carried out in Saiwa Swamp, Trans Nzoia County.

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"Presenting my PhD. progress report at the @uonbi on the impact of human activities on riparian reserves," read one of his posts in June.

DP Ruto already has a Bachelor's degree in Botany and Zoology and masters in Plant Ecology.

As the graduation was ongoing, Ruto was on a political tour in Western Kenya.

However, some of the high profile leaders who were among the conferred were Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura(law degree), while Igamba Ng'ombe Muthomi Njuki, Korei ole Lemein (Narok South) and Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi) graduated with Masters of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovations management.

Last week, President Kenyatta had issued strict directives to universities in line with politicians who are rushing to get degrees to be eligible to vie saying they have to meet the set requirements.

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This includes minimum admission requirements and the number of classes attended.

He had even threatened that universities which do not adhere to the said directive by the ministry of education will be dealt with according to the law.

university of nairobi graduation William Ruto
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