Simon Rotich

Public Service Commission chief executive Simon Rotich (left) after he was conferred an honorary doctorate degree by Breakthrough International Bible University vice chancellor Patrick Njuguna on September 4, 2021 at Six Wheels Academy in Kapsagut Village, Kericho County. 

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Dubious university that is dishing out honorary PhDs

What you need to know:

  • The university has awarded more honorary doctorate degrees than those issued by well-established universities in just under five years.
  • BIBU describes itself as “a non-traditional, online, biblical, skills and philosophy education where your smart phone can be your campus!”

A university with a dubious background is taking Kenyans for a ride as it dishes out degrees, including doctorates, to prominent people, some with questionable character.

Breakthrough International Bible University (BIBU) does not have a charter and is not recognised by the Commission for University Education (CUE), which accredits universities operating in Kenya.

As a result, its graduates might be holding worthless papers despite investing heavily to obtain them.

The university operates in an unorthodox manner that has seen it award more honorary doctorate degrees than those issued even by well-established universities in just under five years.

It has no physical presence in Kenya although an internet search indicates that it is based at Mihang’o, Utawala, in Embakasi sub-County, Nairobi.

When the Nation visited the area using Google Maps to locate it, the search engine could not exactly pin-point the university and led us to a dead end.

We abandoned technology and decided to ask for directions from locals using the landmarks shown on the search. However, none had ever heard of the name and told us that we must be lost.

We called the number that pops up when one searches for the university. It was picked by a man who introduced himself as Prof Patrick Njuguna.

On the university’s website, the vice chancellor goes by the same name. He also sits on the international advisory board of the university.

“We don’t have a campus in Utawala. Our programmes are 90 per cent online and mostly offered through churches,” he said.

Dead giveaway

He, however, could not explain the misleading information about the location, but apologised before adding that we should have called before going to look for the campus. 

He directed us to Thika West Centre, second floor, Room 208 in Jomoko area of Thika town if we wished to enroll with the university.

He was keen to know where we lived, and promised to link us up with a pastor from Rongai.

At the Thika office, we found two women who were also making enquiries about the university.

We were taken through the courses on offer by a woman who was introduced as ‘bishop’ and was said to be a lecturer. She explained that there was a class going on at the time in one of the compartments. 

“It depends on what you call accreditation. We are an international university based in the US. For political reasons, any paper can be refused. Recognition of papers depends on where you take your degree and for what purpose,” Prof Njuguna said in response to a question on whether its programmes are recognised by the CUE.

He said that the university has not had any problems with the Ministry of Education.

BIBU describes itself as “a non-traditional, online, biblical, skills and philosophy education where your smart phone can be your campus!”

Its website,, is a dead giveaway over its credibility since local universities’ URLs end with

CUE chief executive Prof Mwenda Ntarangwi said he has no knowledge that such a university exists.

BIBU claims accreditation by the Worldwide Accreditation Commission of Christian Educational Institutions (WWAC), US, which is listed as a fake accreditation agency.

Graduation ceremonies

The university also invites individuals who wish to operate its campuses and makes the process quite simple.

It declares that while it can help, one does not need to have specialist teachers, modern equipment, large numbers or lots of money and there are no special requirements.

Prof Njuguna said that they mainly focus of theological and leadership studies.

He revealed that for a Master’s degree (which we said we are interested in enrolling for) students pay Sh20,000 a month for two years.

This is way beyond what other universities charge for a Master’s in theology. For example, at Scott Christian University, the fees range between Sh58,000 and Sh73,000 per semester, while St Paul’s University charges Sh127,500 per semester.

A bronchure from the university shows that it charges Sh15,000 per term for the certificate course, Sh24,000 for diploma, Sh40,000 per semester for undergraduate degree, Sh54,000 for masters and Sh70,000 for a PhD. 

Whereas other universities confer only few honorary degrees during their graduation ceremonies, BIBU conducts its award functions many times a year and venues range from hotels to churches.

In one day in 2010 at Charter Hall, the university awarded its doctorates to 17 people, among them Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, industrialist Manu Chandaria and former Nairobi mayors Joe Aketch and Nathan Kahara.

James Maina Ng’ang’a of Neno Evangelism also has an honorary degree from the university.

The chief guest at the function was then-Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende, who was also a few months later, at a church, awarded an honorary doctorate by the same university.

BIBU’s generosity

Other public figures who lay claim to the prefix Dr on account of an honorary degree from BIBU are Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri, who received his honorary degree in December 2020 and was also made patron of the university.

On the same day, BIBU conferred doctorate degrees on Ruiru MP Simon King’ara and his Mathioya counterpart Peter Kimari.

Also awarded on the same day were singer Emmy Kosgei’s parents Bishop Jackson and Rosa Kosgei. The function took place at a hotel in Ruiru town.

Mr Ndambiri acknowledged his appointment but said that he could not comment on the day-to-day running of the university and directed us to Prof Njuguna.

The CEO of the Public Service Commission, Mr Simon Rotich, is also a beneficiary of BIBU’s generosity after being conferred an honorary doctorate degree on September 4, 2021.

The function was at Six Wheels Academy in Kapsagut Village, Kericho County.

Mr Samuel Charagu, an engineer, was also conferred an honorary doctorate by BIBU in September.

On February 7, 2021, more doctorate degrees were dished out to a members of the clergy at Christian Revival Church, Nakuru, where there were no other graduands.

The function was officiated by Prof Susan Amiss, who is the president of the university’s international advisory board.

Televangelist Pius Muiru and his wife were also awarded honorary doctorates at their church, while in December 2019, gospel musicians Esther Wahome and Ruth Wamuyu also got the BIBU honorary doctorates.