A new twist has been thrown into the academic certificates possessed by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja after the University of Nairobi (UoN) affirmed that the politician did not graduate from the prestigious university.
The UoN Communication director, John Orindi, clarified the reports to the media that Sakaja was admitted to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science in 2003 but did not graduate after clearing his four years degree.
He referred to a previous statement issued by the university which pointed out that the Senator did not graduate in 2007 as his transcripts were incomplete, contrary to his initial claims in past interviews.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja at a past campaign tour in Nairobi County.
“It is true Sakaja was admitted to the university and was pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science, studied from the first year up to the fourth year, but is yet to graduate.
“The university earlier issued a statement and was clear that the person in question did not complete his studies,” Orindi stated, as quoted by the Nation.
However, media reports have revealed that Sakaja presented his papers from Team University in Uganda to be cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). However, no one is yet to independently verify the actual papers Sakaja presented to the commission.
This brings into question the validity and legitimacy of the academic papers as some politicians claim, Sakaja retrieved them on short notice. According to the certificate, the senator graduated on October 21, 2016, with a Bachelor of Science in Management.
Media reports had revealed that Sakaja’s name was conspicuously missing from the university’s graduation list in 2016.
Kenyans.co.ke could, however, not independently verify the authenticity of the graduation list by the time of going to press.
In days leading to the IEBC clearance, the Nairobi gubernatorial candidate requested the Commission for University Education to grant accreditation status to the Ugandan university.
This was granted and Sakaja was given the go-ahead to vie as the UDA candidate in the upcoming August 9 poll.
More questions were also raised after a video surfaced online of Sakaja claiming that he had never studied outside the country. The university claims he attended an online programme.
“I have never left Kenya in terms of education,” he stated during a past interview.
The university is owned by a Ugandan politician who is an associate of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party led by President Yoweri Museveni.
“We tried to investigate but the University wrote and said Mr Sakaja attended the programme online”. The qualifications were also confirmed by the Uganda National Council for Higher Education. “Once they own a student, you can’t really dispute. That’s the way it is for us,” CUE boss Mwenda Ntarangwi stated.
After being cleared by IEBC, Sakaja disputed the controversies regarding the papers and noted that he was sufficiently qualified to vie for Nairobi’s top seat.
“I am sufficiently qualified, the documents I presented are the same documents I presented in 2017 to vie for Senator, so I have been cleared to vie for Nairobi governor,” he affirmed.
Senators, however, are not required to submit degree certificates as the constitutional requirement only applies to candidates vying for the presidency, their running mates, governors and their potential deputy governors.
Absa Bank Kenya Ltd Chief Operating Officer James Njoroge Muchiri (left) and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.