Lobby now drives Johnson Sakaja degree drama to Museveni State House

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja. [Esther Jeruto, Standard]

A Kenyan advocacy group has written to Uganda’s Minister of Education Janet Museveni seeking clarification on the validity of Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja’s university degree.

Mr Sakaja alleges that he graduated in October 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Management Degree from Kampala-based university, Team.

The senator was also a Bachelor of Actuarial Science student at the University of Nairobi but its not clear whether he completed the course. He joined the university in 2003.

He is eyeing the Nairobi governorship in the August 9 General Election. It is mandatory that any person seeking the seat must be a holder of at least a bachelor’s degree.

A petitioner, Dennis Wahome, filed a case before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) Dispute Resolution Committee challenging Mr Sakaja’s clearance to run for Nairobi governorship on UDA, saying there is no evidence that he’s a degree holder.

In his affidavit, the senator, however, said those alleging he never studied at Team University in Uganda left out a page showing his name on the graduation list.

Youth Advocacy Africa has written to Uganda’s Education minister, who is wife of President Yoweri Museveni, seeking her response on whether Sakaja studied in the country and graduated in 2016.

“The degree awarded to Sakaja is not honorary but an academic degree purportedly awarded after successful completion of coursework and other instructions for the award of the same,” the advocacy group said in the letter dated June 14.

“From [the] available Immigration services information in Kenya, Sakaja has only travelled to Uganda once, which was on October 17, 2014 and the visit was for parliamentary business, not for educational purposes,” the group said.

The applicants now want the Minister of Education to compel Team University to produce Sakaja’s admission letter, details of payment of school fees, evidence that he attended classes, and why his name was allegedly omitted from the list of graduands, who were awarded a Bachelors degree in Management on October 21, 2016.

Through their lawyer, Waithaka Ngaruiya, the Youth Advocacy Africa told Mrs Museveni: “Our client is certain that your office will treat this matter with the importance and the urgency that it requires to safeguard the image of Uganda as a country that has traditionally offered education to many students in the East African Community.”