Miguna Miguna, David Ndii in a Twitter storm over academic qualification

An exchange of brickbats between firebrand politician Miguna Miguna and controversial economist Dr David Ndii has generated a Twitter storm, as the two argued over the authenticity of Opposition Raila Odinga's academic qualifications.  

It began when Miguna, a frequent Raila Odinga critic suggested that the former premier received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from an unaccredited German university.

"That was not an ACCREDITED university or technical institute in East Germany in the 1960s when Raila purportedly graduated from there. In addition, that school did not have an engineering faculty in the 1960s. Raila must come up with better lies," Miguna wrote on Twitter.

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Dr Ndii defended Raila Odinga before landing in Miguna's court of judgement, wrote: "Looks like Raila is not the only prominent person who studied at the non-existent university."

Dr Ndii responded to Miguna by attaching a list of prominent alumni from Otto Von Guericke University Magdeburg, in Germany.

According to the Otto Von Guericke University, Raila Odinga obtained a degree in Manufacturing (Mechanical) Engineering.

Sensing defeat in the hotly contested argument, Miguna introduced a new angle, claiming that "There are a lot of PROMINENT GERMANS who have had their "diplomas" revoked for fraud. It happens even in Germany - prominence or no prominence. The difference here is that I have actually visited Raila Odinga's former village polytechnic and confirmed it didn't give him a diplom."   

As the fight over Raila Odinga's degree ranged on, Miguna found himself on the receiving end as Dr Ndii took him to task over alleged lies in his most recent book, 'Treason'.

"But you do have a fertile imagination. You claim in your latest book to have been with Raila in Riverside with graphic details on Nov 12 while I and others were with him at his house from 7 a.m and another venue in Karen before proceeding to Panari. Let us lead by example," Dr Ndii wites.

However, Miguna's rebuttal was simply, "so, why is your version true and mine false? I have published a book containing details of our meetings at the Dust D2 Hotel. Those who attended those meetings have not denied or contradicted what I said. You were not in those meetings. I cannot comment about your meetings."

The feud that began over Raila's degree when Dr Ndii questioned Miguna's doctorate. It turned out that Miguna, who holds of law degree which is known as Juris Doctor (JD), had to defend his 'doctor title' in the court of public opinion.

According to Dr David Ndii, Miguna's law degree is not equivalent to a PhD as such he doesn't deserve to refer to himself as a 'doctor'. "Leadership integrity is judged in the court of public opinion, not in the court of law. Now on academic credentials, my understanding is Canadian JD has the academic standing of a second undergrad degree. Your Alma Mater offers both JD and PhD. Is to customary for Canadian JD's to use Dr. title?" Ndii questioned.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Miguna sprang to the defence of his doctor title. "A JD is a GRADUATE DEGREE. One gets it AFTER graduating with a first degree. He posted:

In an unexpected move, Dr. Ndii assailed Miguna's explanation grudgingly, perhaps to put an end to a Twitter storm that was promising to turn murkier.

Dr. Ndii, founder and managing director of Africa Economics, a consultancy, is one of East Africa's leading and most influential independent economists.

He has been an economic advisor to the Government of Rwanda, public finance expert to the Kenya Constitutional Review Committee of Experts (COE), advising the NARC administration on the Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) credited with the post-2003 recovery of the Kenyan economy.

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Miguna MigunaDavid NdiiRaila Odinga