DPP Haji sets 'deadline' for investigations into Sakaja, Ndeti degrees

Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. [File, Standard]

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has directed the Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to expedite investigations into the academic certificates held by politicians.

Haji has asked Mutyambai to expand the scope of investigations beyond Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and Machakos gubernatorial aspirant Wavinya Ndeti.

The two leaders are currently under probe over academic certificate-forgery allegations.

They’re both eyeing gubernatorial positions, with Sakaja gunning for the Nairobi governorship seat, while Ndeti is seeking to succeed Alfred Mutua as the second Governor of Machakos County.

In Kenya, it is mandatory for any person seeking governorship or presidency to be a holder of at least a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university.

Sakaja is accused of forging a Bachelor of Science in Management degree certificate from Uganda’s Team University, while Ndeti is facing allegations of forging a Bachelor of Computer Science Degree from South Bank University in London, United Kingdom.

Haji has also directed Mutyambai to ensure the investigation files are submitted to his office on or before Thursday, June 23.

“The Director of Public Prosecutions has taken note of the reports circulating in social, electronic, and print media about politicians presenting the IEBC with academic papers and purportedly authentic testimonials. Further to the statement by the Inspector-General commencing investigations into the matter, the DPP has also directed the IG to broaden the scope of the investigations to include other aspirants,” Haji said in a press statement dated Saturday, June 18.

“In addition, the DPP has directed the IG to investigate the role of Government agencies and Commissions to determine whether they helped or assisted in commission or omission of any offences with the issuance of clearance certificates, pursuant to Section 22 of the Elections Act, 2011; Section 6 and 19 of the Election Offences Act, 2016; Section 13 of the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012; and Section 47A of the Anti- Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003.

“Since this matter has a direct bearing on the forthcoming elections and the need to have IEBC have a closure of the process of registration of candidates in good time to adequately prepare for the General Election, the ODPP calls for expeditious completion of this investigations not later than June 23, 2022 and submission of the investigative reports to ODPP for action if any,” said Haji.

If a person is found guilty of forging academic certificates, he or she could face up to three years in jail upon prosecution.

Section 349 of the Penal Code says any person who forges a document is guilty of an offence.

“Any person who forges any document or electronic record is guilty of an offence which unless otherwise stated, is a felony and he or she is liable unless owing to the circumstances of forgery or the nature of the thing forged some other punishment is provided, to imprisonment of three years,” says the law.