I’m not a cow: Wavinya Ndeti says as IEBC committee clears her for Machakos contest

Machakos County Governor candidate Wavinya Ndeti.

Machakos County Governor candidate Wavinya Ndeti.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Disputes Resolution Committee has cleared Wiper’s Machakos governor candidate Waninya Ndeti to contest the seat in the August 9 polls.

In its ruling the committee dismissed the complaint against Ms Ndeti saying it [the commission] lacks the jurisdiction to determine the validity of her degree.

“This committee lacks the jurisdiction to investigate the authenticity of the degree of Wavinya Ndeti. We therefore dismiss the complaint,” ruled the George Murugu led committee.

While dismissing the complaint by voters Gideon Ngewa Kenya and Kisilu Mutisya, the committee further stated that the returning officer discharged his mandate in accordance with the law and the complaint lacks merit.

“The IEBC has no investigating machinery to undertake inquiries into the validity and legitimacy of academic certificates and credentials supplied to it by various candidates but merely acts in trust on the face value of the documents,” the committee ruled.

The decision comes after the two voters filed a complaint seeking revocation of the electoral commission’s decision to allow the former Transport chief administrative secretary contest for the Machakos governor’s seat arguing that she lacked a valid degree.

The two petitoners alleged that the Computer Science degree certificate held by Ms Ndeti was bogus and that she is not qualified to contest the governor’s seat.

They had questioned Ms Ndeti on the validity of her university education and the degrees she earned abroad.

Speaking to the media at the Milimani Law Courts after the ruling, Ms Ndeti dismissed her opponents accusing them of sponsoring the complaint to block her bid.

“I’m qualified. My father did not sell his cows to take a cow to school. I’m over qualified. None of my competitors can match my academic qualifications," she said.

Ms Ndeti took the moment to assure her supporters of her preparedness and saying she is sure of a landslide win come August.

About Ms Ndeti’s summons to appear before the DCI over her academic qualification, her lawyer Eunice Lumallas said it is ill informed and a move to violate rights of women contesting elective positions.

“The summons to appear before the DCI is an affront to the two thirds gender rule and a bid to block women from competing for elective positions," Ms Lumallas said.

She said Ms Ndeti has not received any official summons from DCI but only saw social media comments about her alleged summoning.

No records

The complainants had alleged that Ms Ndeti’s academic certificates are questionable, inconsistent and that although she claims to have studied in the UK, there was no record of her ever registering in the UK under permutations of her name.

"Ndeti is not a holder of a degree recognized in Kenya. On November 6, 1992 she was purportedly awarded a Master’s degree in Business Systems Analysis and Design by the City University, London without having undertaken a first degree,” said the complainants.

They added: “On July 18, 1995 Ms Ndeti apparently obtained a degree (Bsc) in Computing Studies from South Bank University London.

"Undertaking a degree after being awarded a Masters in a closely-related subject is equally problematic. The degree in Computing Studies awarded by South Bank University to Ms Ndeti raises a number of issues," the complainants claimed.

In their view, the complainants argued that 'the title of the degree is extremely uncommon to a point where it does not feature online as a course'.

"Computer Science is the universal course title for this field of study. Indeed, the graduate Diploma awarded to Ms Ndeti by South Bank Polytechnic London some five years earlier in 1990, was for Computer Science. It is very unlikely that the University would have changed the degree title to Computing Studies in a span of five years.”