A Mount Kenya University (MKU) student was on May 28th 2017 found with mwakenya while she sat for her Diplomatic and Consular Law exam.
Soon after the exam began, the young lady pulled out a handkerchief accompanied by a paper on which she had written some notes. The invigilator caught her doing so and asked her to hand over the notes which one is not allowed to carry into an exam.
The invigilator then says that the student chewed and swallowed the bit of paper right before she, Joyce Nderitu asked her to give her the paper. The purpose of her swallowing the paper was so there wouldn’t be proof of her trying to use unallowed material during her exam. The invigilator added that the student, Awino almost choked on the bit of paper as she hurriedly tried to swallow it.
After this, the invigilator asked Flora Awino to leave the examination hall and fill out a form detailing the incident that had just occurred.
She was then asked to attend a disciplinary meeting where it was decided that she should be suspended for a semester and should repeat the first semester of fourth year once she would be readmitted in September.
She filed a case in the High Court accusing the administration of the university of not giving her an opportunity to defend herself or get witnesses. The student said the school’s disciplinary decisions violated her right to a fair hearing, the Constitution, rules of natural justice and the MKU student handbook. Apparently, the university handbook says that where a candidate destroys evidence of cheating by swallowing, tearing or throwing it away, the evidence of a minimum of two invigilators would be sufficient.
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According to the university, the two witnesses were Ms Joyce Nderitu and Mr Alex Gachoka. The judge found that the university excercised its powers lawfully and disciplined the student accordingly.
There was no evidence that proved that the school did not allow her time to provide witnesses.
Justice Odunga ruled that,
“From the proceedings on record, there is nothing to support Ms. Awino’s allegations and hence there is no basis upon which this court can find that the disciplinary process adopted by the university failed to meet the threshold of a fair administrative action.”