IEBC rejects CUE letter revoking Johnson Sakaja’s degree

IEBC responds to CUE revealing the only way to bar Johnson Sakaja from Nairobi gubernatorial race

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has dismissed a letter issued by the Commission for University Education (CUE) revoking Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Johnson Sakaja’s degree.

According to the electoral body, the matter on Sakaja’s degree issued by Team University was resolved by the disputes tribunal which upheld Sakaja’s nomination to join the gubernatorial race.

IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati noted that the Commission now intends to proceed with the printing of ballot papers after receiving greenlight from Justice Anthony Mrima, noting that only a court order can compel the commission to reverse its decision clearing Sakaja to run on the August 9.

“The DRC judiciously considered the said complainant and made a finding that the returning officer could not be faulted for clearing Mr Sakaja based on the above degree certificate from Team University. Indeed, the returning officer’s main obligation, in ascertaining the educational qualifications, is to ensure that the provision of Regulation 47 of the Elections Regulations, 2022 are met.

“It is recalled that the said degree certificate was accompanied by a letter of recognition dated June 6, 2022 from your good office, which the communication fully relied on,” noted Mr Chebukati in his response to CUE boss Prof Mwenda Ntarangwi.

The IEBC added: “The totality of the foregoing is that the commission acted within the law and is now functus officio as far as the authenticity of the impugned degree certificate is concerned. The only way to compel the commission to revoke and reserve its decision is through a court order setting aside the decision of DRC.”

The Sakaja degree fiasco took another turn on Thursday, June 29 after CUE wrote to IEBC indicating that the Nairobi gubernatorial hopeful’s degree was issued by Kampala-based Team University in ineligible for recognition.

"That in Sakaja Johnson Arthur's official declaration in 2017, while vying for the position of Senator, he indicated that the only higher education qualification he held was a degree from the University of Nairobi. There was no declaration made pertaining to Team University, from which he now states that he had obtained a degree in 2016.

"The University of Nairobi has since written to the Commission, confirming that whereas he enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science in 2003, he did not complete his studies," the letter from CUE read.

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