As the Machakos Senatorial by-election draws closer, Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) has questioned Wiper party candidate Agnes Kavindu’s academic qualifications to vie.
The ex-wife to former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama is among 11 candidates who were last month cleared to run for the seat by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The seat fell vacant following the death of Senator Boniface Kabaka on December 11, 2020.
Kabaka was a member of the CCU party that recently withdrew from the race to succeed the late Senator to back Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) candidate Mutua Katuku.
In a statement issued on Sunday, CCU cast doubt on Kavindu’s academic qualifications further faulting the electoral body for clearing her to vie.
CCU Secretary-General Sadjah Philippe said from the self-declaration form filled by Agnes Kavindu at IEBC, it’s evident that she never went through Secondary school “she only attended primary school.”
In the alleged IEBC form shared on social media, Kavindu didn’t indicate the secondary school she attended but went ahead to declare that she had a degree from WOIB college, raising serious questions on how she obtained the degree without a secondary school certificate.
In the space given for a candidate to write the name of secondary school or A level institution attended Kavindu allegedly wrote “Not Applicable”.
“Currently, the Constitution and the Elections Act requires a minimum of post-secondary qualification for one be cleared to vie for Senate, ” said Philippe.
He added, “suffice to say, Section 22 of the Elections Act now requires a minimum of a genuine
recognized university degree as a qualification to run for Senate in 2022.”
The SG further dismissed Kavindu’s degree saying the institution she claims awarded her the degree is not recognized to offer any academic courses.
“Kavindu purports to have a degree from a certain WOIB college. From our research, WOIB is not a recognized institution to offer any academic courses. Worse even, how does one purport to have gone to a University without first going through secondary school?” he posed.
The party threatened to take legal action against IEBC if it doesn’t come clean on what grounds the candidate was given a green light to vie for the by-election scheduled for March 18.
“We demand that IEBC immediately clarified how a person who does not have the required educational qualifications was cleared to vie for senator and immediately withdraws the nomination certificate, ” the SG said.
He added that the party has also written to the Kenya National Qualifications Authority, the body charged with authenticating foreign qualifications to take action against Kavindu for “posturing as if she has a degree when she doesn’t have one”.
“We appeal to the people of Machakos not to be lured to replace Hon. Boniface Kabaka, an astute lawyer, debater and respected PHD holder with a class 7 drop out, ” said Philippe.
“…How will a primary school dropout match the competencies of the other very well educated and articulate Senators who we all know about? Do we want Machakos to be the laughing stock of Kenya?” he posed.
By the time of publishing this story, IEBC had not responded to the CCU party’s claims.