Businessman Thuo Mathenge has been struck off the list of the list of aspirants for the Friday Jubilee nominations for Nyeri governor’s seat over questionable academic qualifications.
Thuo presented a certificate indicating he graduated in 2012 from Fairland University in Uganda with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Social Administration, but the certificate has been determined to be fraudulent.
He challenged the election of the late Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua in 2013. The High Court in Nyeri threw out the petition, while also raising doubt on Thuo’s academic qualifications. “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,” Justice James Wakiaga ruled at the time.
In an investigation by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Thuo said that he enrolled at the Ugandan university in 2009 and used to travel there by bus from Kenya every weekend to attend weekend classes, eventually graduating in 2012. However, a vice-chancellor at the university who looked at his certificate said it was a forgery and did not look like those issued by the university.
The businessman goes by the name “Dr Thuo Mathenge”, giving the false public impression that he is a medical doctor and a degree holder. He is said to have started going by that title after opening several medical clinics in Nairobi and Kiambu.
Among those competing in the Friday, April 21st Jubilee nomination for Nyeri Governor include current Governor Samuel Wamathai, Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe, former Vision 2030 director Wahome Gakuru, hotelier Patrick Munene, and Athi Water Services chairman Wachira Keen.
Former Governor Nderitu Gachagua died in office in February, and was replaced by then-Deputy Governor Samuel Wamathai.