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On the day that he led the resurgence of Orange boss Raila Odinga’s campaign for the National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential ticket, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho suffered a political body blow after the Kenya National Examinations council said his secondary school certificate is a forgery.
This opens up criminal liability on the part of the youthful governor known for taking on President Uhuru Kenyatta.
It could also mean that he may be shut out of the Mombasa gubernatorial race if his degree certificates are invalidated. Governors are required by law to be university graduates.
KNEC’s acting chief executive, Ms Mercy Gathigia Karogo, in a letter to the Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro, said they had established that the “purported” copy of results slip presented to the council for authentication was obtained from a forged document.
“Following your request for verification and confirmation of examination results Joho Hassan Ali results slip as per the letter referenced CID/SEC/4/4/3 dated 25th January, 2017… Joho Hassan Ali did not register nor sat for the year 1992 KCSE examination at Serani Secondary School under index number 160092024,” said Ms Karogo quoting records in the KNEC data base.
Ms Karogo wrote to Mr Muhoro in response to a letter by the DCI seeking for verification and confirmation of Mr Joho’s examination results.
The details indicate that the centre code for Serani Secondary School in 1992 was 16032 and not 160092 as indicated in his documents to the examination council.
“Therefore, the purported copy of the year 1992 KCSE examination results slip presented to KNEC for verification purposes, is obtained from a forged document,” Ms Karogo said in her letter dated January 26, 2017.
Mr Joho is assumed to have attended Serani Secondary where he allegedly got a C+.
This is the qualification on which Mr Joho was presumably admitted to the University of Nairobi’s Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) programme.
The governor is reported to have transferred credits to Kampala International University from which he claims to have graduated.
He registered for yet another business related degree, this time at the little-known Gretsa University in Thika where he says he graduated last year.
Mr Joho has been battling claims on the authenticity of his academic qualifications with several court cases being brought against him since his election as the Governor of Mombasa County.
But Joho has all along stood his ground saying that he has two genuine degrees, one from Kampala International University in Uganda and another from Gretsa University.
Gretsa University, through the Vice Chancellor Kuria Thuo, confirmed in February that Mr Joho graduated on December 2016 with a degree in Commerce.
The governor, however, did not attend the graduation ceremony at the institution in Thika.
He said that the Mombasa Governor was a duly registered student who studied Bachelor of Commerce and specialised in human resource management through the distance learning since 2014.
Mr Thuo added that Mr Joho graduated after satisfying the board of examiners and senate, as is a requirement for graduation in all universities.
But if his Form Four certificate is forged, as KNEC now says it is, then his degrees would be invalidated.
The development comes in the wake of a recent warning by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i that he would reveal identities of politicians and other Kenyans using fake degree certificates to seek leadership positions.
Dr Matiang’i particularly lashed out at aspirants intending to use such documents to get clearance to contest for political seats in the August 8 General Election.
“There is no human being in his right mind who can fake papers and then ask to lead people,” said the CS, while addressing principals at All Saints Cathedral Anglican Church in Nairobi on Thursday.
The remarks by the CS come in the wake of a rush by politicians to acquire degree certificates to participate in the elections.
It also follows the unearthing of a racket that involves production of fake and backdated degree certificates at a local private university which was subsequently shut down by the education sector regulators in 2015.