Qualification Authority to keep off vetting of election aspirants


Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA) Director-General Dr Juma Mukhwana. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NMG

Aspirants for elective seats will not require clearance from the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) to contest in the August 9 General Election, the State Corporation has said.

The announcement comes barely a month after Parliament termed illegal the agency’s role in verifying academic certificates from local and foreign institutions.

“The KNQA will not be undertaking any vetting of academic certificates for political aspirants for the upcoming General Elections,” said KNQA director-general Juma Mukhwana in a statement yesterday.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha earlier this month moved to shield the agency from Parliament in its role of verifying academic certificates.

Professor Magoha requested Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki to guide the ministry in amending the regulations to avoid sub-sectors in Education from overlapping the mandate and conflicting the roles of the KNQA.

KNQA and the Technical and Vocational Training Authority (TVETA) are currently embroiled in a court battle over who should certify and harmonise the education qualifications from within and outside the country.

The High Court in October allowed a Nairobi resident to challenge powers granted to the KNQA to recognise and verify national and foreign academic qualifications.

“Vetting of academic certificates for political aspirants will be done by the Commission for University Education (CUE), TVET Authority and the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec),” said Dr Mukhwana.

This comes at a time universities have been put on high alert over the potential acquisition of fraudulent degrees by politicians seeking elective posts.

The State Department of Higher Education is concerned about the likelihood of aspirants infiltrating universities to acquire fake degrees in rush to beat the provisions of the Elections Act 2011.

KNQA had announced a collaboration with Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to vet academic certificates submitted by aspirants.

Dr Mukwana said the agency will now focus on aligning and validating national and foreign qualifications for purposes of creating a credible database.

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