Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Johnson Sakaja has gained a momentary reprieve after the High Court barred the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from striking him off its list of cleared candidates.
While the case to disqualify him from the election continues, Justice Antony Mrima allowed the IEBC to continue with the printing of the ballot papers.
According to the judge, the request for the order will have an impact on other parties before they get a chance to be heard.
“Given that steps have already been taken for an expedited hearing for this matter, hence the order shall not be issued at this point,” the judge ruled.
Dennis Wahome had filed a petition with the High Court asking for orders directing the electoral commission not to print ballots for the Nairobi governor position until his lawsuit, which aimed to disqualify Sakaja from running, was heard and decided.
Wahome stated that although the IEBC’s Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) approved Sakaja to run in the elections on August 9, the senator is unable to run for governor since he does not have a degree.
The voter claimed in his petition that Sakaja’s alleged Bachelor of Science in Management degree from Team University in Uganda was a forgery. The case will be heard on July 4, 2022.
Sakaja has however admitted that he did not complete his studies at the University of Nairobi due to a lack of funds.
In an interview with a local radio station today, Sakaja claimed that he dropped out of the University of Nairobi to concentrate on other issues since he couldn’t afford the tuition.
“There is a document being shared that shows it was the issue of fees. There were a few units I did not complete but the ceremony of graduation is not what confers the knowledge to you,” he said.
He mentioned that he would eventually return to the University of Nairobi to complete his coursework.
“By the time I was able to afford the fee, I was too embarrassed and shy to go back to class. But that is something I will be able to go back and finish. About two or three units. There is no law that says you must bring a degree from UoN,” he said.
The Commission for University Education (CUE) yesterday revoked Sakaja’s degree from TEAM University based in Uganda.
In a letter to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), CUE stated that the governor candidate had not provided any evidence as of the conclusion of inquiries into the validity of the degree.
“Based on these findings and in compliance with the ongoing provisions of sections of The Universities Act, 2012, Party XI of The Universities Regulations 2014, The Universities Standards and Guidelines, 2014, and the Standards for recognition and Equation of qualifications and granted the disclaimer in the certificate of recognition issued,” the letter noted.