‘Dennis Wahome Is Engineered By Powerful Forces To Publicly Humiliate Me,’ Sakaja

Johnson Sakaja PHOTO|COURTESY

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja now claims the petitioner seeking his disqualification from the Nairobi gubernatorial race over the validity of his academic papers is a malicious “mercenary” on a political witch-hunt.

The embattled legislator, in court papers filed in response to the case lodged by Dennis Gakuu Wahome, argues that the case which has dragged out for weeks now is engineered by unnamed powerful forces to publicly humiliate him.

“I affirm that the gist of the Petitioner’s suits challenging the validity of my academic qualifications are deliberately and primarily calculated to subject me to public humiliation, embarrassment as well as unreasonably restrict the exercise of my political and social rights under article 38 to be a candidate for public office,” reads court papers dated July 1.

Mr. Sakaja dismissed claims that the Bachelor of Science in Management degree he claims he acquired from Team University in Uganda university is fraudulent, saying the questions raised are based on malice.

“Or office within a political party of which the citizen is a member and, if elected, to hold office. 9. That it is easy to unmask the Scheme behind the filing of this Petition by the Petitioner as a mercenary, proxy and a gun for hire by forces driven by malice and political witch-hunt,” he said.

He further questioned Mr. Wahome’s “curious” ability to access multiple documents, including the purported immigration records and Jubilee Party nomination applications dating 2016.

“The Honourable Court ought to take judicial notice of the fact that such documents which the Petitioner seeks to rely on (whose authenticity are in question anyway- and we ask the court to disregard the same) are not usually easily available to persons that are directly connected to any underlying investigations, let alone busy bodies that are unconnected to the underlying investigation such as the Petitioner,” he said.

Wahome moved to court after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) dismissed his complaint against Mr. Sakaja’s clearance to run for office last month.

“The Petitioner herein has been driven by ulterior motives acting at the behest of my political competitors keen on usurping the sovereign power of the residents of Nairobi county to exercise their democratic right under Article 38 to elect their Governor of choice in a democratic process,” Sakaja says.

“He seeks to achieve this by placing unreasonable restrictions against my candidature through institution of frivolous suits both at the IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee and in this very instant Petition.”

Mr. Sakaja also argued that although the Commission for University Education (CUE) revoked his degree certificate, the National Council for Higher Education-Uganda (NCHE) had already confirmed that it is legitimate.

IEBC on Friday, July 1, dismissed the decision by the CUE to revoke Sakaja’s university degree certificate.

CUE had on Thursday cancelled its recognition of the certificate, claiming by the time the senator obtained the degree, the university was not offering the course externally beyond its borders.

But the electoral commission chair Wafula Chebukati in a swift rejoinder noted that the degree saga was dealt with by the commission’s Dispute Resolution Tribunal.

According to Chebukati, the only way to reverse Sakaja’s clearance is by overturning the decision of the tribunal through a court order. 

Sakaja’s lawyers have vowed to appeal against the CUE decision. 

Meanwhile, the oral arguments of the case are set for hearing on Monday, June 4, at the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi.

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