A Court of Appeal verdict that cast doubt on the academic qualifications of Nyeri gubernatorial hopeful Thuo Mathenge has returned to haunt him.
This is after a resident questioned the move by the Jubilee Party to accept his nomination papers ahead of primaries set for April 21.
Mr Mathenge is among contenders in the race to unseat Governor Samuel Wamathai.
In a petition to the party, Mr Francis Ngacha, through Kamotho Njomo and Company Advocates, says that the aspirant does not qualify to contest.
“The person seeking nomination by your party does not meet the minimum threshold to contest and become a governor as he is not a holder of a degree certificate,” Mr Ngacha says.
Citing a ruling by the Court of Appeal in 2013 in which the aspirant challenged former Governor Nderitu Gachagua’s victory, Mr Ngacha insisted that the businessman’s academic qualifications are questionable.
Initially, High Court Judge Justice James Wakiaga had upheld Mr Gachagua’s election while discrediting Mr Mathenge’s degree certificate.
“The 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.
In his ruling, Justice Wakiaga imposed a judicial order on the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute investigations into the validity of the degree, which Mr Mathenge alleged was awarded to him by Ugandan-based Fairland University.
But Mr 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 into how he got his degree.
Mr Ngacha has demanded that the Jubilee Party explains why it accepted Mr Mathenge’s nomination papers and whether in light of his evidence, the party will allow him to participate in the primaries.
“The fact that Mr Thuo presented the same invalid degree certificate to your office from Fairland University portrays him as an individual lacking any personal integrity, honesty and suitability to hold a State office,” Mr Ngacha notes.
Attempts to reach Mr Mathenge for comments were unsuccessful.