Nyeri resident questions governor hopeful’s degree


Thuo Mathenge in court in 2013 when he challenged the election of Nderitu Gachagua as Nyeri Governor. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A Court of Appeal verdict that ordered a probe on the academic qualifications of Nyeri governor hopeful Thuo Mathenge has returned to haunt the aspirant.

Now, a Nyeri resident has questioned Jubilee Party’s step to accept his nomination for fear that he may be cleared for party primaries on April 21.

Dr Mathenge is in the race to unseat governor Samuel Wamathai, the former deputy who rose to the helm after Nderitu Gachagua died at a London hospital in February.

In a petition to the party Francis Ngacha, through Kamotho Njomo and Company Advocates, says the aspirant does not qualify to contest “as he is not a holder of degree certificate.”

Citing a ruling by Court of Appeal in 2013 in which the aspirant challenged Mr Gachagua’s victory, Mr Ngacha held that the businessman’s academic qualifications were questionable.

Initially High Court Judge Justice James Wakiaga upheld Mr Gachagua’s election while discrediting Dr Mathenge’s degree certificate.

“Petitioner did not attend classes at Fairland University and, therefore, the degree certificate awarded to him was not validly awarded… Mr Thuo Mathenge was not eligible to run for the office of governor,” the judge pointed out.

Justice Wakiaga ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate the validity of the degree, which he said was awarded by Uganda-based Fairland University.

But Mathenge filed an appeal where a three-judge Bench held that he started being referred to as Dr Thuo when he started opening medical clinics in Kiambu and Nairobi.

The judges also supported the directive to open a probe on how he got his degree.

Mr Ngacha has demanded that the party explain why it accepted Mathenge’s nomination papers.

“The fact that Dr Thuo presented the same invalid degree certificate to your office from Fairland University portrays him as an individual lacking any personal intergrity, honesty and suitability to hold State office,” he notes.

Attempts to reach Dr Mathenge on phone were unsuccessful.