Society

Sudi: Straight talker haunted by academic scandal

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Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • The MP has been captured saying his education was disrupted on many occasions, for lack of school fees.
  • Information posted on his profile at parliament website shows that the 41-year-old MP wrote his final primary examination at Olympic Primary School in Nairobi.
  • No one can deny the fact that the MP is one of the richest people in Kenya.

The issue of academic qualifications for those aspiring for elective positions in the country has been in and out of court corridors for a while.

In fact, the country’s highest court has even been called to determine whether one is academically qualified to participate in an election.

Judges have also held that setting standards in regard to educational qualifications for leaders seeking positions of power and responsibility cannot be said to be discriminatory, as it cuts across all the parties and those who do not qualify have an opportunity to seek to attain the qualifications before vying for the offices.

In 2013, Justice Isaac Lenaola, then a High Court judge, held that a post-secondary education as enshrined under Section 22 (1) (b) of the Elections Act is attainable, sufficient and constitutional. “To hold otherwise would be absurd 50 years after independence,” the judge said.

And in a bid to qualify and beat the requirement, many Kenyans whose dream was to join politics, went back to class to attain post-secondary education.

Among such leaders is Oscar Kipchumba Sudi, who rose from a humble beginning as a charcoal seller and tout to become the first Kapseret MP, after Eldoret South constituency was split to form Kapseret and Kesses.

The MP has been captured saying his education was disrupted on many occasions, for lack of school fees. He says he was in and out of class many times and did menial jobs to support his family.

Information posted on his profile at parliament website shows that the 41-year-old MP wrote his final primary examination at Olympic Primary School in Nairobi.

He was at Olympic from 1997 to 1998 before joining ‘Highway High School’ between 2003 and 2006. The MP later joined the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) in 2007 where he obtained a diploma in business management in 2008.

The information paints the picture of a man who was determined to complete his education despite his poor background. No one can deny the fact that the MP is one of the richest people in Kenya- getting to parliament is a sure way of getting to the exclusive club.

The only problem with Mr Sudi’s educational background is that it is littered with claims of forgery. While presenting his forms to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in 2013, the MP presented his academic papers from the three institutions. He was cleared and won the parliamentary seat.

All was well until the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (IEBC) was tipped about the alleged forgeries. The MP was arraigned in 2016 to face charges of forging KCPE and KCSE certificates and well as a diploma from KIM and presenting the same to an IEBC official to be cleared to contest the parliamentary seat.

According to the charges, the MP forged a diploma certificate in business management purporting that it was issued by the Kenya Institute of Management, a KCSE and a school leaving certificates from Highway High School.

He is further accused of uttering false documents where the prosecution claimed that he presented the forged certificates to EACC and IEBC officials while purporting that they were genuine.

This week, witnesses from the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), the custodian of primary and secondary certificates as well as a former employee of KIM, testified that the certificates held by Mr Sudi were fake.

In fact, an official from Knec told the court that the purported secondary school- Highway High School- does not exist but there is Highway Secondary school.

More puzzling is the revelation that Mr Sudi allegedly obtained his diploma certificate a year before taking KCSE in 2006.

The MP has vowed to fight the claims as he maintains that he was a student of Highway High School and KIM.

But why a post-secondary education for an MP? One might ask. Well, the nature of his duties and responsibilities as a representative for the people of Kapseret requires that he is able to execute the parliamentary duties without any difficulties.

He is required to understand House proceedings, the nature of business being conducted and contribute in various debates and at times complex motions tabled in Parliament. The least the people of Kapseret require is for their voice to be heard.

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