Did Sakaja Graduate From the University of Nairobi?

Questions have been raised over Senator Johnson Sakaja’s academic credentials. One of them is the claim that he is a graduate of the University of Nairobi. 

Background

When Johnson Sakaja clenched the senate seat in 2017 on a TNA ticket, it was clear that the then 28-year-old politician set his sights occupying a higher office. Fast forward to 2022, his gubernatorial bid on a UDA (United Democratic Alliance) ticket is in jeopardy over his questionable academic credentials. According to the Elections Act, a degree from a recognized university is a prerequisite for one to qualify to run for governorship.

Senator Sakaja has on several occasions in the past stated that he studied actuarial science.

In an interview with talk show host Jeff Koinange dated March 2, 2016, the then nominated member of parliament mentioned his ‘background in science’, specifically, “actuarial science,”he said.

In another interview with comedian Daniel ‘Churchill’ Ndambuki dated June 13, 2021, the senator said that he studied actuarial science at the University of Nairobi where he joined campus politics.

Verification

Johnson Sakaja was until June 14, 2022, listed as a notable alumnus on UoN’s official website, it identified him as a graduate with a degree in actuarial science. After questions were raised concerning his academic qualifications, the University of Nairobi edited the profile twice before eventually deleting Sakaja’s name from the website.

This move corresponds with information contained in a letter the university wrote to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) dated May 31, 2021. It stated that Sakaja’s transcripts were incomplete and on account of that, the senator has not yet graduated. “…they have not been signed by the university,” the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs, Prof Julius Ogeng’o said in the letter.

Senator Sakaja reportedly presented to the IEBC certificate of a degree in science management from Team University, a private university in Uganda, not a degree in actuarial science from the University of Nairobi. 

The Senator in a recent interview on Spice FM’s The Situation Room clarified that he holds a graduate degree from Team University after 5 years of distance learning.  He acknowledged that he has not completed his actuarial science course at the University of Nairobi due to lack of fees.

In a letter to the IEBC dated June 29, 2022, the Commission for University Education revoked recognition of Sakaja’s degree for a second time. Nation reports, “From the investigations, CUE determined that Team University was not accredited by NCHE to offer the Bachelor of Science in Management (External) by 2016 when Mr Sakaja says he graduated.”

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has however dismissed the revocation of the degree from Team University indicating that, “the only way to compel the commission to revoke its decision is through a court order setting aside the decision of the Dispute Resolution Committee.” 

Verdict

NO, Senator Johnson Sakaja did NOT graduate from the University of Nairobi.

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Thomas Mukhwana

Thomas Mukhwana is a broadcast journalist and fact-checker. He is passionate about storytelling, sustainable development and policy in the African context.