Umoja estate chief in Lanet, Nakuru county who has won worldwide recognition for using Twitter to curb crime in his location was among more than 9,000 graduands at Mount Kenya University (MKU) last Friday.
Francis Kariuki was conferred with a degree in Counseling Psychology which he attained through virtual learning. After the graduation, Kariuki said the degree will help him offer professional services to Kenyans and the community he serves.
“I feel that every public servant needs to be better knowledgeable and educated than people he serves. I want to appeal to my colleagues in the civil service to go back to school if they want to be relevant and competent in service delivery,” said the chief during an interview after his graduation.
In attendance were MKU Chancellor Prof Victoria Wells-Wulsin, Education Cabinet secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi and the university’s founder Simon Gicharu. Prof Emeritus Richard Sikora of the University of Bonn, Germany, was the chief guest.
Peter Mithamo from Kirinyaga county was also honoured by the university for his innovation of inventing a solar-powered dryer for farm produce. He received a cash prize of Sh100,000 for his innovation. Kaimenyi told parents not to abdicate their role of imparting moral values to their children.
He said the recent immoral activities by students showed that parents had abdicated their responsibilities. “Parent should not leave everything to teachers by being absent and should instead be role models for their children by showing good conduct,” said the CS.
He said in order for Kenya to remain competitive in the region, Kenyan universities should lead the way in research, innovation and technological advancement.
Sikora said Africa has a huge human resource potential. “African universities must lead the way in finding remedial solutions to challenges bedeviling the African continent,” said the chief guest.
Kariuki, 47, said he has been able to bring down the crime rate in Lanet Umoja from near-daily reports of break-ins to no such crimes. He also uses Twitter to send messages of hope, especially for the young and unemployed.