14 January 2013

Kenya: Waititu Defends His Academic Credentials

Nairobi — Outgoing Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu on Monday afternoon insisted that he has valid educational qualifications from Punjab University in India.

The MP who is aspiring to be the Governor of Nairobi county says that doubts about his academic credentials are being raised by those he claims want to derail him.

"My name will be on the nomination ballot, I am the leading candidate in the race for governor, and those who are creating hurdles should also change the law so that the Governors are appointed. People are looking for leaders who understand them," he said.

Waititu told journalists at Parliament Buildings that the National Alliance (TNA) Party had already cleared him ahead of the nominations although his documents bore different names, Clifford and Ferdinand.

The Water Assistant Minister says that he swore an affidavit confirming his change of name after he came back from India and was employed at the Treasury as an accountant.

Certificates which he presented at a media briefing bore the name Clifford Ndung'u Waititu include his 1981 Kenya Certificate of Education and a leaving certificate from Siri Guru College in India and his degree certificate while 'Ferdinand' appears on his national Identity Card, and his passport.

The documents indicate that he went to Dagoretti High School, then to Kenya Polytechnic before he flew to India in 1985.

The MP says that he was born to uneducated parents, a father who sold local brew in Kibera and that after he was named Clifford he adopted the name Ferdinand from the father who baptized him.

He says that he is in the process of changing his official name on the Identity Card to include Clifford.

"So many people have two baptism names it is not a wonder that I have two. Why is it only problematic for Waititu?" he posed saying his woes were the work of those opposed to his candidature in the party.

"This Waititu you look at as a hooligan valued education more than 30 years ago and went to India, the reason I behave the way I do is because I took a vow to always be on the side of my Embakasi constituents," he added.

The legislator says that he has already settled on a Nairobi lawyer Evans Ondieki to be his deputy in the race to become the first Nairobi County Governor

Waititu insists that the position of governor is new in the Constitution and that people should avoid judging him based on a position that he has not held.

When asked about if he was ready to concede defeat in the nominations he said: "Let's see in three days how many people can raise as much votes in the 85 wards in the city."

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