IEBC clears Johnson Sakaja to run for Nairobi governor

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja after he presented himself at DCI Headquarters in Nairobi over his degree saga. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has been cleared by IEBC to contest for Nairobi governor in the August 9 polls.

This is after the electoral body’s Dispute Resolution Committee dismissed a petition that challenged Sajaka’s clearance to contest on grounds that he did not have a valid university degree, which is a requirement for the job.

The committee said IEBC does not have the legal mandate to verify the authenticity of candidates' certficates.

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

Haji 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.

This morning the tribunal also cleared Wavinya to run after upholding the validity of her papers. 

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.

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

The Commission for University Education (CUE) had asked the Senator to provide ten documents as proof of enrollment and graduation from Team University.

Sakaja is required to provide among others; A letter of admission from the university, a valid student ID, transcripts, evidence of course units taken, a graduation booklet with his name on it, and a photo of him in his graduation gown.

The Senator, who is to appear before the Commission on Monday, June 20 to aid in investigations is also required to show receipts of application and tuition fee and submit names of his lecturers during his study period.

But in his response, Sakaja said the whole degree saga was nothing but mischief and political interference.

“We are being persecuted. This is highly political and is coming from the highest office in Kenya,” Sakaja claimed.

He claimed the commissions’ members met with senior government officials at Jogoo House before asking him to provide the documents to ascertain his degree certificate.