Editor's Review

IEBC said it can only revoke the clearance through a court order.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Friday declined to revoke Senator Johnson Sakaja's clearance to vie for Nairobi governor.

In a letter addressed to the Commission for University Education's (CUE) CEO Mwenda Ntarangwi, the Commission said it has no authority to do so.

"The totality of the foregoing is that the Commission acted within the law and is functus officio (Not holding any official authority) as far as the authenticity of the impugned degree certificate is concerned," IEBC chair Wafula Chebkati said.

He also said the IEBC had established a body to carry out complaints, like that of Sakaja, adding that a determination on the matter had been made.

"Rule 9 of the Rules of Procedure on Settlement of Disputes extends to complaints related to whether, "...the candidate has all qualifications required under law.",.. the Commission has established the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) as the institutional framework to carry out its mandate in this respect," the letter reads.

Chebukati added that when the case was presented before the DRC, the complainant, Denis Gakuo Wahome, said the electoral body could not be faulted.

Wahome presented a complaint that Sakaja should not have been cleared to vie for the governor's seat as he holds no degree, as required by the law.

Chebukati pointed out that IEBC's role was to ensure that all candidates met the requirements, among which, if a candidate attended an international school, they should have a letter from CUE.

"It is recalled that the said degree certificate was accompanied by a letter of recognition, dated June 6, 2022, from your good office, which the Commission fully relied on," he said referring to Sakaja's documents.

The Returning Officer also said the Commission held no capacity to investigate and validate certificates presented by aspiring candidates.

He added that IEBC can only take action on one's documents if they have been investigated and convicted.

"This is more so because the allegations of forged degree certificates are criminal in nature."