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Politicians face academic qualifications headache

The political season has turned into a headache for a number of politicians whose academic qualifications are facing scrutiny ahead of the August 9 polls.

The Kenyan law states a candidate seeking the presidency or gubernatorial seat must posses a University degree.

Here are some candidates who’ve found themselves on the crossfire.

1. Jimi Wanjigi – The Safina Party presidential aspirant was disqualified by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which ruled that he was yet to graduate from University despite undertaking a course. Wanjigi is said to have submitted his transcripts but not a degree certificate.

“You must bring a physical copy of your degree certificate before I clear you, we can also allow you in the remaining hours to harmonize your signatures and come back,” said IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati.

2.Walter Mongare – IEBC handed, and then revoked the presidential certificate of Umoja Summit presidential aspirant Walter Mongáre for the same reasons it did to Wanjigi.

However, the former comedian insists he is still in the race to vie for the presidency and will fight to get cleared.

3. Johnson Sakaja – The Nairobi Senator is gunning for the county gubernatorial seat under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket. The party is associated with Deputy President William Ruto.

Sakaja has previously said he studied Acturial Science at the University of Nairobi but is now said to have tabled a different Degree to IEBC from a Ugandan university while seeking clearance to vie.

4. Aisha Jumwa – Kilifi governor candidate Aisha Jumwa’s name has also been mentioned in regards to the credibility of his academic papers despite her clearance by IEBC.

Jumwa, a graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) is seeking to succeed Governor Amason Kingi.

Jumwa’s degree has been questioned by Kilifi North Owen Baya in 2019, daring her to make public the certificates to convince the residents.

5. Linturi Mithika – Meru gubernatorial candidate Mithika Linturi has for some time faced allegations over the validity of his academic papers.

Linturi maintains he has Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Nairobi but is among the  persons under investigations by the Ethics and Anti Corruption (EACC).

In 2014, the University of Nairobi deregistered the current Meru senator over a fake certificate, but the commission cleared him since the case challenging his papers is still active in court.

6. Cleophas Malala – Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala has been forced to defend his education degree certificates.

Malala, maintains he is a degree holder from United States International University Africa (USIU). He has been cleared to run for the Kakamega governor race under the Amani National Congress (ANC) party.

However, the public has raised concern over his alleged fake academic papers. His university degree and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) papers, the claims that he has so far dismissed as a move from his political opponents who want to derail his political career.

7. Granton Samboja – Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja’s education credentials are also in question as he intends to run for a second term in office.

A voter petitioned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Dispute Resolution Committee to revoke his clearance over questionable academic papers.

The petitioner faulted IEBC for clearing Mr Samboja despite overwhelming evidence pointing to falsification of his academic papers and lack of integrity contrary to the Constitution and statutory provisions.

8.Ferdinand Waititu – Former Kiambu County Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s academic papers are also in question.

According to William Kabogo, his political competitor, Waititu who has since been impeached for reported corruption did not graduate from the Panjab University in India.

9.Oscar Sudi –  The controversial Kapsaret lawmaker has a Diploma in Business Management from the Kenya Institute of Management, a course that he undertook in one year.

He is said to have studied his O-level studies at Highway High School.

Sudi’s name is not new in the social media over his academic papers, as there is an active court case against him in which it is claimed he was never a student at Highway High School.

The MP is also facing trial for allegedly forging academic certificates in 2013 as he sought clearance from EACC.

10. Hassan Joho – The outgoing Mombasa governor for a long time had his academic papers questioned, until the management of the University he attended in Uganda flew to Nairobi to defend him.

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