College owned by doctor had been approved by the Ministry before closure

Dr Moses Njue when he appeared before a Nyeri Magistrate Philip Mutua,.On May 16,2018, He was charged for offering an unaccredited course at his King's Medical Training College at Narumoru in Nyeri County. [Photo: Kibata Kihu/Standard]

A medical college belonging to a former chief government pathologist had been approved by the Ministry of Education before its closure in January this year, a court has heard.

Gichuhi Ndegwa, a senior ministry official, yesterday told the court Moses Njue’s Kings Medical College had also been approved by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) as an examination centre.

Mr Ndegwa is among Government officials who stormed the school on November 10, 2016, and ordered its closure. He said the team relied on information provided by the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB) to make the decision.

Ndegwa was then a senior assistant director of education based at Jogoo House, Nairobi. He now works in the Directorate of Secondary Education, Senior Principal Magistrate Phillip Mutua heard.

Ndegwa said the officers visited the college to verify its compliance with the regulations provided by KMLTTB in the training of medical laboratory technology students.

“We were checking whether the school was registered, had the right training equipment, infrastructure and qualifications of lecturers. It had not applied for registration and was operating on a provisional certificate,” said Ndegwa.

He said the Government ordered the closure of the institution in November 2016 since it was illegal and the courses offered were not approved. Ndegwa also said the college was admitting unqualified students to undertake the medical science and laboratory course.

In February, he said, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations wrote to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) seeking information on the status of the college and its adherence to the law.

“TVETA, in a letter dated March 29, 2018, said the college had applied for accreditation and that it had met requirements,” Ndegwa said during cross-examination by Njue’s lawyer, John Abwuor.

The letter was signed by Samuel Kipkemboi for the TVETA director general.

The witness said the college did not flout the law on examining its students. There had been allegations that the students were being examined by Knec instead of KMLTTB, which is the regulatory body in laboratory training.

“The board has independent professional exams for registration of students while Knec offers academic exams,” said Ndegwa.

The court further heard that Dr Njue paid an inspection fee of Sh70,000 and the institution was approved.

Njue is charged alongside his wife Lucy Kanyiri, son Lemuel Muriithi and a student, Evans Nyagaka, for operating an illegal college.

He produced an accreditation letter issued by Knec and an approval letter from the Ministry of Higher Education, re-authorising the operations of the college.

KMLTTB said it closed the college due to lack of infrastructure and laboratory equipment. The regulator also claimed the lecturers were unqualified to teach and students were unqualified to study the course.

Mr Abwuor asked why the board had failed to make available any of the allegedly unqualified lecturers or students.

The hearing will continue on February 25.

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Kenya National Examinations CouncilKings Medical CollegeKMLTTBMoses Njue