Sakaja now goes after Uhuru in bare-knuckled attack

Better days: President Uhuru Kenyatta with Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja during the official launch of TNA party on June 5, 2012.

Photo credit: File

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of influencing the revocation of his credentials by the Commission for University Education(CUE).

He said the action is illegal, null and void and was politically instigated to halt his bid to become Nairobi’s next governor.

Mr Sakaja was once an ally and sworn defender or President Kenyatta; he served as the chairman of TNA, on which the president ran and won the presidency in 2013.

In a Facebook post, the senator attempted to assure his supporters that come what may, his name will be on the ballot on August 9.

“The purported revocation of my credentials by the CUE Chairman is null and void, and politically instigated. The Chairman, Professor Chacha Nyaigotti Chacha, has been coerced and intimidated by President Uhuru Kenyatta to illegally revoke recognition of accreditation that has been properly issued,” he said.

He went on to explain that the CUE had done its due diligence before authenticating his degree certificate, and that the Nairobi County returning officer had used the same document to clear him to run.

On June 6, wrote Mr Sakaja, he presented his qualifications to the CUE to ascertain the accreditation status of Team University in Uganda, from which he allegedly obtained his bachelor of science degree in management.

A letter from the university’s academic registrar had confirmed that Mr Sakaja indeed enrolled for that distance learning degree course and graduated on October 21, 2016.

This was confirmed by Prof Mwenda Ntarangwi, CUE’s chief executive.

Kenyan professional organisations

A notice from Prof Ntarangwi read: “It is hereby confirmed that Team University is a recognized institution in Uganda. The qualification awarded by the said institution is also recognised in Uganda and by convention in Kenya …. In addition to this recognition, you may be required to meet other requirements set by Kenyan professional organisations.”

But it had a disclaimer – that the CUE should not be held accountable for the authenticity of the certificate or the identity of its holder. It also declared that the commission retained the right to revoke recognition of the award if it established that it was ineligible for recognition.

After the confirmation, Mr Sakaja claimed, officials from the Kenyan High Commission in Uganda were sent to intimidate Team University staff and Uganda’s National Council for Higher Education.

“Following this, President Uhuru Kenyatta and the entire State machinery have gone on an intimidation spree against institutions locally and in Uganda to revoke the recognition of my qualifications in a bid to stop me from [becoming] the Governor of Nairobi,” the senator lamented.

The CUE, Mr Sakaja said, had succumbed to intimidation, unlike Team University and Uganda’s National Council for Higher Education.

“We are also aware that the Commission (CUE) did not meet to make this decision and it was done by the Chairman under duress,” he said.

“The desperate attempts by President Kenyatta and the so-called Deep State will fall on the sword of justice. I have the requisite qualifications to vie for the position of Governor of Nairobi and will be on the ballot.”

He expressed confidence that the people of Nairobi would give him a resounding victory, from which he would establish “a city of order and dignity”.

Resolve to serve

“To President Kenyatta I say: Let the people decide. Not even the threats to arrest me will dim our resolve to serve the people of Nairobi,” he wrote.

“The people of Nairobi have resoundingly rejected your project and are looking forward to electing their own. I remain committed and confident that a new dawn for our capital is beckoning, a city of order and dignity; hope and opportunity for all. We shall not be cowed. We will prevail.”

Mr Sakaja’s degree certificate was revoked by Prof Nyaigotti on Wednesday morning. The CUE said it had received material information concerning the authenticity of his degree, and that they would need to conduct further investigations in order to validate it.

The letter was copied to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati and Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha.