More trouble for Sakaja as CUE shuts door on his degree recognition

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Johnson Sakaja’s dream of becoming the governor of the capital city has been dealt a huge blow after the Commission for University Education (CUE), for the second time, revoked the recognition of his degree purportedly obtained from an institution in Uganda.

After initially revoking the recognition and later reversing the decision, CUE boss Prof Mwenda Ntarangwi communicated the voiding of its acknowledgement of Mr Sakaja’s Team University degree to both the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the candidate.

“The commission hereby notifies you that the certificate of recognition of the qualification of the purported Bachelor of Science in Management (External) degree from Team University, issued to one Sakaja Johnson Arthur ...  is revoked,” CUE said in a June 29 letter to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Mr Sakaja is the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate for the Nairobi gubernatorial race and is running against Jubilee Party’s Polycarp Igathe among other candidates.

He has maintained that he has the requisite qualifications to run for the seat and blames President Uhuru Kenyatta for using state agencies to block his bid.

IEBC’s Dispute Resolution Committee had thrown out a petition that was challenging his nomination, stating that it lacked jurisdiction to determine the validity of the senator’s university degree.

The petitioner, Mr Dennis Gakuu, had argued that Mr Sakaja sought clearance to vie based on a forged degree certificate.

Besides the investigations by CUE, Mr Sakaja has recently been to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) where he was summoned to provide information regarding his contentious university degree from a Ugandan university.

“He will react in court because the matter is in court,” Mr Sakaja’s office told the Nation yesterday. According to CUE, Mr Sakaja, the Nairobi senator, failed to appear before the commission when he was given an opportunity to defend his degree.

Notwithstanding Mr Sakaja’s refusal to honour the summons, the commission conducted further investigations, including obtaining communication from the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) of Uganda.

From the investigations, CUE determined that Team University was not accredited by NCHE to offer the Bachelor of Science in Management (External) by 2016 when Mr Sakaja says he graduated. CUE says they obtained some information regarding the courses offered by Team University from NCHE website on June 24.

“Team University is accredited to offer a Bachelor of Science in Management and not a Bachelor of Science in Management (External).”

“Further, NCHE communicated that Team University had confirmed that Mr Sakaja had enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Management. No reference was made to Bachelor of Science Management (External),” CUE stated. CUE also raises questions about the information Mr Sakaja provided in 2017 when he was vying for the Senate seat.

Though a degree is not a requirement for the Senate position, he stated in the declaration forms that he holds a degree from the University of Nairobi.

“The University of Nairobi has also written to CUE confirming that Mr Sakaja enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science in 2003 but did not complete his studies,” CUE said.

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