By ROSE ATHUMANI, 22nd February 2010, Daily News THE Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU) said today that the doctoral degree and other academic credentials held by the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Dr David Mathayo David, are authentic. In a letter, signed by the TCU Executive Secretary, Professor Mayunga Nkunya, the commission cleared Dr Mathayo after he submitted his academic credentials for verification. Dr Mathayo submitted to TCU, his Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from Sokoine University of Agriculture (1997), Master of Agriculture Science from University of Pretoria in South Africa and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Animal Science from the University of Free State in South Africa (2003). Dr Mathayo told 'Daily News' that he was happy having his name cleared following reports that he had forged the degrees. "I am really happy after being cleared of the allegations that my degrees were obtained from unaccredited institutions. This has given me peace of mind," he said. In the letter dated February 13, 2010, which 'Daily News' has a copy, the TCU states that it recognizes the validity of the degrees awarded to the deputy minister. "TCU by virtues of its legal mandate given under the University Act of 2005 hereby recognizes the validity of your degree awards stated above and that all the awards have been granted by accredited and hence recognized university institutions," the letter reads in part. The letter which was sent to the deputy minister was also copied to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, the Chief Secretary and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. Efforts to contact the TCU executive secretary, Prof Nkunya, were futile. When the TCU Public Relations Officer, Edward Mkaku, was contacted to confirm if the commission received Dr Mathayo's certificates for authentication, he declined to comment and directed this paper to wait for Prof Nkunya's return for more details on the issue. Early this month, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Samuel Sitta, announced to the House that Dr Mathayo had presented to his office genuine credentials for his degrees. Deputy Minister Mathayo was among a number of ministers and Members of Parliament alleged to possess fake degrees. They include the Minister for Industry, Trade and Marketing, Dr Mary Nagu, the Minister for East African Community, Dr Diodorus Kamala, the Deputy Minister for Labour, Employment and Youth Development, Dr Makongoro Mahanga and Deputy Minister for Defence and National Service Dr Emmanuel Nchimbi. Others are the Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner and MP for Ismani, Mr William Lukuvi, Lupa MP, Mr Victor Mwambalaswa and Busega MP Dr Raphael Chegeni. 'Fake' PhD MPs dodge TCU MASEMBE TAMBWE, 16th February 2010 @ 01:27, Total Comments: 9, Hits: 1103 THE Tanzania Commission for Universities has yet to receive degree document for certification from any of the alleged senior cabinet members and Members of Parliament with questionable academic qualifications. "We have not yet received any certificates for certification from any minister or member of parliament but our doors are always open," the TCU Senior Public Relations Officer, Mr Edward Mkaku, told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam today. Mr Mkaku said that the issue surrounding fake academic qualifications has been a debate for years and that it was recently fuelled by the launching of a book authored by Erick Keinerugaba who published the identities of those alleged to possess fake documents. During a press conference held last week, the TCU Executive Secretary, Professor Mayunga Nkunya, condemned the book saying that it was an infringement to personal affairs and that TCU doesn't support the move and will never do so. Mr Mkaku said that after the book had aroused a lot of talk, Prof Nkunya deemed it necessary to hold a press conference and issue TCU's stand on the matter and also ask those allegedly mentioned in the book to take their certificates for certification and give them the chance to respond. "The author of the book has no right to reveal whether or not a person possesses a genuine or fake doctorate degrees, which is personal and should be left at that," Mr Mkaku stressed. He explained that the TCU procedure of certification entails that one fills a form when bringing certificates to be certified and only the person who brought the document will be given back and that the outcome is not publicised. In another development, TCU has voiced its concern for the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr Samuel Sitta, to have cleared the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Dr Mathayo David Mathayo, of a fake doctoral degree. Mr Mkaku explained that though Mr Sitta can, with the authority vested on him, speak about the matter, he did not, however, have the mandate to certify whether the degree was genuine or a fake and that should be left to TCU alone. "Only TCU has been given the mandate to verify whether a degree is genuine or fake," he said. Last year it was reported that eight senior cabinet members and Members of Parliament were among recipients of questionable academic qualifications, particularly Doctorate Degrees (PhDs), from overseas Learning Institutions that are not internationally recognised. The report mentioned the institutions which issued the doubtful qualifications which include Washington International University based in Hawaii, Commonwealth Open University based in Caicos Virgin Island, Free States University, Ambala University in India and Almeda University, USA.