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Many public servants have fake degrees

Former Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion has raised concerns over the war on fake degree certificates ahead of the August polls.

Speaking on the matter that has been subject to debate as IEBC clears candidates to vie for various seats, Sossion claimed that many public servants in Kenya have used fake degrees to get jobs.

“Very many characters in this country have got unscrupulous printed certificates from River road and are used to get jobs while some individuals may have used documents of other citizens,” he told KTN News on Monday. 

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is in a tough spot for clearing candidates facing integrity questions, including those whose academic credentials are in doubt.

Some of the politicians whose academic credentials have been doubted by the public include Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, among others.

These politicians have, however, been cleared to seek office by the electoral commission.

Malala’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Systems and Technology degree, which he obtained from the United States International University (USIU-A) was questioned.

For Sudi, he claimed to have sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam at Highway Secondary School in Nairobi in 2006, the institution’s former principal Patrick Maritim testified in court that he never schooled there.

Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Johnson Sakaja is the latest victim after new development in the controversy surrounding his academic credentials emerged.

The University of Nairobi where the Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant said he graduated has said Sakaja is a student at the institution but is yet to graduate.

According to UoN, Sakaja was enrolled in 2003 but is yet to graduate from the university.

The senator presented a degree from a Ugandan university before IEBC and was cleared, he has publicly said before that he never schooled outside of Kenya.

Sossion argued that it was in good faith that the public has raised concerns about certain academic credentials, saying that this will push relevant bodies to investigate the queries.

“When a red flag is raised it is important to take action, do due diligence and confirm those qualifications. The relevant bodies should investigate so that we weed out these characters with fake credentials,” he added.

The nominated MP stated that efforts are being made by the Ministry of Education to ensure that fake degrees can be detected easily.

He explained that the Kenya National Examination Council is changing the format of the certificates so that it is almost impossible to forge the documents.

This is, however, not the first time that academic credentials of aspiring governors and MPs have been questioned.

In 2013, IEBC nullified the nomination certificate of an aspirant for the Kajiado governor seat, Taraiya ole Kores, after his degree certificate from Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica was questioned.

Others whose academic qualifications have been questioned include former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, former Malindi MP Willy Mtengo and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.

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