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Thuo Mathenge out of Nyeri Jubilee race over questionable papers

The Jubilee Party has disqualified Nyeri gubernatorial aspirant Thuo Mathenge over doubtful academic qualifications, three days to the party’s nominations.

Mr Mathenge had already paid the required fee of Sh500,000 to the party to allow him participate in the primaries.

The businessman has appealed the party’s decision to disqualify him.

He unsuccessfully vied for the governor’s seat in 2013 and filed a petition to challenge former Governor Nderitu Gachagua’s election but lost the case.

The Court of Appeal, in a ruling, had earlier asked the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to investigate Mr Mathenge’s academic papers following claims that his degree from Fairland University in Uganda was not valid.

The court heard that he was not eligible to vie for the seat since he had not met the education threshold as provided for by the Constitution.

Mr Mathenge told the court that he had a bachelor’s degree in social work and development, which he said he obtained after studies at Fairland University and he was also to establish a branch of the same institution in Nyeri.

He said he enrolled at the university in September 2009 and left in 2012 and used to travel to Uganda for by bus through Busia boarder to attend classes.

He added that he used to study on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and that they were five students in his class.

CERTIFICATE DIFFERENT

However, his certificate was noted to be different from others which were issued to other students during graduation.

“The Vice chancellor of the university, Solomon Wakabi took a flight and went to the Commission of Higher Education (CHE) and after looking at the certificates he confirmed they were forgery,” Justice James Wakiaga said.

Mathenge’s O-level certificate showed that he was not qualified to be admitted to a Kenyan university and therefore his degree certificate could not be equated to a Kenyan one.

The businessman told court that he was attending the Jinja campus but was unable to confirm whether his passport was stamped at the boarder during the period of study.

In a phone interview with the Daily Nation, Mr Mathenge said he was cleared of the allegations by the DPP.

“I was investigated by DPP and cleared. Even the IEBC cleared my candidature. The DPP file was closed. My academic papers were okay,” he said.

But according to the judgment issued in court, Mr Mr Mathenge did not attend classes at Fairland University and therefore the degree certificate purportedly isued to him was invalid.

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