Anglican Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit asks relevant agencies to act on fake academic credentials

Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Arch-bishop Jackson Ole Sapit has called on relevant agencies to work together and bar aspirants with questionable academic credentials from contesting in the August 9 General Election.

Archbishop Ole Sapit said the country has sufficient taxpayer funded institutions that should rein in candidates deemed to be in possession of fake academic certificates and those violating electoral laws, including forgery and providing false information contrary to the Penal Code and the Leadership and Integrity Act.

Speaking in Molo Town after touring ACK parishes in the Sub-County, the Archbishop Sapit called on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Commission on University Education (CUE) and the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) to make joint efforts in tightening the noose on academic frauds and smoking them out of the system.

Aspirants for the seats of President, deputy president, governors and deputy governors are required to be degree holders to run.

For MPs, the degree rule had been deferred in 2013 and 2017 and was to come into effect in 2022, but courts quashed the requirement. MPs are still required to prove that they have a secondary school qualification.

The ACK head said that institutions of higher learning should vet politicians with suspect degrees who allege to have graduated from their colleges adding that the institutions have a right and duty to defend their reputation from getting dragged through the mud.

“Concerned state agencies must bring to an end the ensuing confusion that we are witnessing. The law should be applied to all suspects. The culprits, if any, when severely punished, such as being barred from public office for some time we will have protected the integrity of the education sector, universities and the electoral system itself.”

The Archbishop noted that the Church does not have a candidate of choice, “the Church’s mandate ends at praying for the elections.

He tasked politicians to respect the freedom of all Kenyans and allow them to freely participate in elections. He further called on leaders to accept election results.

“We are encouraged to embrace prudence, fairness, fortitude and sobriety to guard against evil during this season. These are human virtues that order our relationship with our neighbours,” Archbishop Ole Sapit added.

He also called on those seeking elective positions “to avoid attacking, using inciting words and slogans that divide Kenyans and which have further implication on national unity and cohesion.

Believers have been asked to shun bribery to make the right decisions at the ballot.

The ACK head asked Kenyans to be wary of leaders who speak of peaceful elections but their actions don’t match their words.

“Kenyans must now vote for leaders not because of their ethnicity or wealth but elect leaders of integrity who uphold ethical values. We need responsible leaders who will deliver what they promise,” he said.

“Let us drive out negative ethnicity. Ethnicity hangs around voters due to fear of violence and they feel secure supporting a leader on the basis of tribe as opposed to what he stands for.”

Archbishop Sapit asked politicians who will be dissatisfied with the poll outcome to seek redress in court.

He warned youths against being used to cause chaos, adding that the youth will bear the brunt of the chaos if they fall prey to individuals who are out to misuse them.

“The blood you shed will be on your hands. You will not only lose your loved ones but also peace of mind. Kenyans and especially the youth should refuse to participate in mass action or demonstrations regardless of the incitement before and during elections,” he pointed out.

The Archbishop told leaders to humble themselves and continue spreading peace and love among Kenyans.

He said it was wrong for some politicians to sow discord among Kenyans ahead of the elections.

“They should stop dividing the country along party and tribal lines, this country belongs to all Kenyans,” he said.

The Archbishop noted that elections are the only channel for formation of government and that everyone has a right to participate in peaceful, free, credible and fair elections.

“We encourage Kenyans to visit the electoral commission offices or use electronic channels provided to verify their registration details. Participation in elections is a civic, religious and social responsibility that should be undertaken by all,” he advised.

Archbishop Sapit told the youths to only participate in campaigns that will benefit them.

“Ask leaders what they will do for you before fighting or killing for them. Demand answers on their plans for you,” he said.



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