EACC says three leading governor aspirants dropped out of Standard Seven, Form Two and Form Four
The careers of three leading governor aspirants hang in the balance after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) accused them of forging academic certificates.
Also walking a tightrope is former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who the EACC and DPP say escaped from Shimo La Tewa prison in Mombasa in 1998.
On Tuesday, DPP Noordin Haji and EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak said they will push for the disqualification of election candidates facing corruption charges or who have integrity issues.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i recently warned that up to 40 per cent of the candidates seeking elective positions were involved in illicit fake currency trade, popularly known as “wash wash”, and other illegal activities.
Mbarak, while addressing journalists on the sidelines of the fourth International Association of Prosecutors and the East Africa Association of Prosecutors conference in Mombasa, said the commission would charge several candidates, among them those with fake degrees, once investigations are complete.
“We have several arrests to make, including a governor vying for an elective post who is a Class Seven dropout and has a fake degree. How did he earn the degree? Another one, a Form Two dropout, and you know yourself, where and how did you attain the degree?” Twalib posed.
Speaking at the same function, Haji expressed concern about a trend where many people with integrity issues were seeking elective seats.
“You can not be impeached in Nairobi and then you move to Mombasa to vie for the same position. It is high time we respected the Constitution and stopped this mockery,” Haji said in apparent reference to Sonko who was impeached as Nairobi governor in December 2020 but is now contesting for the same seat in Mombasa.
He said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should bar such politicians from vying.
“It is not only Sonko... We have three former governors among them one who is facing murder charges,” he said, in a veiled reference to Migori’s Okoth Obado who is charged with the murder of university student Sharon Otieno.
Sources at EACC yesterday revealed that Sonko had been grilled about the circumstances under which he left prison 24 years ago.
“It is such a straightforward thing that will entail him (Sonko) going back to jail to complete his sentence,” said the source.
People Daily has established that the candidate said to have dropped out of school in Class Seven is running for governor in the Ukambani region. The politician said to have dropped out in Form Two is a governor candidate in the Coast region while one with a Form Four certificate is also seeking the governor’s seat in the same county.
The Standard Seven and Form Two dropouts belong to the Kenya Kwanza while the Form Four dropout is allied to the Azimio la Umoja.
“If they dropped out at Class Seven or Form Two, and never went back to school, how then did they acquire a university degree? It can only mean it’s a forgery. Investigations are underway to establish how they attained those degrees,” the source privy to the investigations said.
The law requires that candidates for the presidency and governor must be holders of a degree certificate from a recognised university.
Several politicians are battling court cases relating to forgery of academic documents.
They include Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi who is accused of forging a diploma in business management purportedly obtained from the Kenya Institute of Management and a KCSE certificate allegedly issued by Highway High School.
His Juja counterpart George Koimburi has been charged with obtaining a KCSE certificate, supposedly issued by the Kenya National Examinations Council, and forging a certificate of participation that is supposed to have been issued by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, who was unveiled as Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate on Sunday, is battling allegations of defrauding the taxpayer billions of shillings through dubious government tenders.