The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party Secretary General Veronica Maina has raised questions over the academic qualifications of Azimio presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga.
Maina who spoke on Tuesday said the issue of qualification for public office holders and validity of their academic credentials is a matter that needs to be looked at from a wider public view.
The UDA party SG pointed that Odinga’s academic credentials have been questioned including the institutions he attained them from but the issue has been swept under the carpet.
“Questions have also been cast on the credentials of presidential candidates. You have seen a lot of headlines questioning the university that our biggest opponent Raila Amollo Odinga qualified from and it becomes a big question that needs to be looked at not through the lenses of just one candidate, but a wider public question,” she said.
Veronica spoke after Azimio sympathizers launched a debate on the validity of university degrees belonging to UDA gubernatorial candidate for Nairobi, Hon. Johnson Arthur Sakaja.
Petitions have also been filed at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) challenging the clearance of Sakaja to vie for the Nairobi top seat.
Sakaja has emphasized that he has a valid degree that he acquired from Team University in Uganda, between 2014 and 2016 but his opponents omitted his name from the graduation booklet to tarnish his name.
“For nefarious goals, the complainants have fraudulently omitted relevant pages of the graduation booklet that bear my graduation credentials,” said Sakaja.
“The personalized vendetta and smear campaign against me by the Complainants is unworthy of response, save to point out that the same is absolutely reckless and in absolute abuse of legal process,” the senator added.
The UDA candidate who swore an affidavit stated that the complainants deliberately omitted out a page showing his name on the graduation list of the Uganda based institution.
Elsewhere two Machakos voters have also lodged a complaint at the IEBC challenging the validity of Wavinya Ndeti’s degree in computer science.
Ndeti was cleared to contest Machakos governor’s seat but Mr Gideon Ngewa Kenya and Mr Kisilu Mutisya want her clearance revoked on grounds that she does not have a does not have a university degree as required by the law.
“Ndeti is not a holder of a degree recognized in Kenya. On November 6, 1992 she was purportedly awarded a Masters degree in Business systems analysis and design by the City University, London without having undertaken a first degree,” said the complainants.
The debate on validity of degrees has been used to target politicians allied to Kenya Kwanza Alliance led by DP Dr. William Ruto.
A candidate like Senator Sakaja is the man to beat in Nairobi gubernatorial race but his disqualification will benefit Azimio’s Polycarp Igathe who lacks the support of the majority.
ODM gubernatorial candidate in Mombasa Hon Abdulswamad Nassir’s academic credentials have also been questioned but his case has not been treated with seriousness like Sakaja’s.
Nassir is facing off with former Mombasa senator, Hassan Omar, who is running on UDA party ticket. The outgoing Mombasa governor Hassan Joho is disrupting Omar campaigns by denying him the opportunity to erect his UDA billboards in Mombasa.