17 January 2013

Kenya: Credentials Knock Out Shitanda, Wanjiru

Nairobi — Outgoing Housing Minister Soita Shitanda and his assistant Bishop Margaret Wanjiru have been disqualified by the United Democratic Forum (UDF) and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) respectively from vying for gubernatorial posts.

The two were disqualified on account of holding degrees not recognised in Kenya as Section 22 of the Elections Act 2011 stipulates.

On Shitanda's bid for the Kakamega gubernatorial nomination, the UDF elections board chairman Abraham Limo told Capital FM news: "As it is, we cannot clear him to run unless it is proven to us that the papers he holds are from accredited institutions."

The ODM's elections board on the other hand was in no doubt that Wanjiru's degrees were not recognised in Kenya.

The chairman Franklin Bett confirmed to Capital FM news; "The Commission for Higher Education confirmed that they do not recognise her certificates and we could therefore not allow her to contest for the position of governor."

Wanjiru had on January 5 defended her Doctor of Theology degree from Vineyard Harvester Bible College and Bachelor's degree in Christian Leadership from United Graduate College at a road show in Dandora.

"There are those who are saying that I am not qualified to run for this post please let them know that we do not want any propaganda."

Bett discounted Wanjiru's claims and has been quoted in the media saying, "What is even more alarming is we have received reports that they are not recognised in America either."

Despite Wanjiru not being able to contest for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat there is indication that she could be directly nominated as the ODM Nairobi county senatorial candidate or women's representative.

Controversy has also courted Embakasi MP, Ferdinand Waititu's, academic credentials.

Waititu is seeking The National Alliance (TNA) ticket for Nairobi governor but the credibility of his degree from Punjab University has been questioned.

The Embakasi MP has defended his degree saying that the only anomaly on his degree certificate is the first name being 'Clifford' and not the more commonly known 'Ferdinand'.

He has however been given a green light by the TNA elections board to participate in the nomination exercise after presenting an affidavit testifying to the fact that both are his names.

"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."

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