Bishop Wanjiru Bible degree questioned

It seems that Wanjirus rivals are determined to eliminate her from the race. It might be over for her with the questionable university degree. Is there any other CORD candidate who has her kind of appeal in Nairobi? I’m not sure about her management skills, which is what the city needs but she is sure good with people.

This thread is actually not about Wanjiru but more to ignite a discussion on the number of fake degrees out there in Kenya.


THE Commission for Higher Education has rejected the educational qualifications of Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, Starehe MP and assistant Housing minister.

As a result, Bishop Wanjiru is unlikely to be able to contest for Nairobi governor in March as she is not considered a graduate. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission stipulates that all candidates for governor must be “a holder of a degree from a University recognized in Kenya.”

Wanjiru received the degree of Doctor of Theology from Vineyard Harvester Bible College on July 13, 2003. On October 26, 2010, she received a bachelors degree in Christian Leadership from United Graduate College and Seminary International.

However on January 2, the Commission for Higher Education advised that “the degrees awarded are not recognised in Kenya.”

“The Vineyard Harvester Bible College and the United Graduate College and Seminary International are not accredited in the United States of America by recognised accrediting agencies by the US Department of Education,” said the CHE letter signed by Prof David Some, CEO and Secretary.

Specifically the CHE said the two colleges did not appear in the World Higher Education Database prepared by UNESCO and the International Association of Universities.

On December 31, lawyers MW Kamau and Co, wrote to the CHE requesting confirmation that the colleges were accredited.

Their letter also referred to her 1982 diploma in sales from the School of Sales Management; her certificate of proficiency in sales from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry; her 1979 East African certificate of education; and a certificate of attendance for a two week course in Managing Change at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Of her eight subjects at Decision Four, she only passed English Literature with a 6 Grade. The other subjects she failed with a Grade 9.

To make matters worse for Wanjiru, two ODM activists have written through their lawyers to ODM electoral chairman Franklin Bett and ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyongo.

George Otieno and Frederick Odhiambo want Wanjiru disqualified from being nominated as the ODM candidate for Nairobi governor.

“Our client would like to put the IEBC and the ODM elections board on notice that Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, a candidate who has presented her application for nomination for the post of Governor, does not possess the required academic credentials to allow her to contest as a candidate for Governor of the County of Nairobi,” stated the letter from Ochieng, Onyango, Kibet and Ohaga on January 2.

The letter questioned how Wanjiru could have a received a doctorate before her bachelors degree, and asked how long she had spent studying at the two colleges. It also asked how she could be admitted to an institution of higher learning if she had not done A-Levels. Both Wanjiru’s degrees come from ‘virtual colleges’ without any campus or physical address.

According to its website, The United Graduate College is ‘accredited’ by  The Worldwide Accreditation Commission of Christian Educational Institutions but that body is not recognised internationally, by the US Department of Education or by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The website says that the college has provided e-learning since 1982 to 100,000 Christians in 50 countries around the world. Its Kenya representative is a Prof Nathan Kahara on Miliani (sic) Road, Nairobi.

According to its website, the Vineyard Harvester Bible College is accredited by the Transworld Accrediting Commission International but this body is also not recognised by American and international educational authorities.

The college offers online courses in Christianity. Its address is 40 Lake Creek Rd, Cedartown, Georgia which is a private house on a remote country road, according to Google Maps.

The Vineyard Harvester Church at 1890 Rome Highway, Cedartown is three kilometres away. Yesterday Wanjiru’s mobile telephone went unanswered and she did not respond to our text messages.

Bishop Wanjiru’s main rival for the ODM nomination for Nairobi governor is Dr Evans Kidero, former Mumias CEO and also chairman of the Star.

The most probably TNA candidates are stockbroker Jimnah Mbaru or Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu. Last year the IEBC released the qualifications  required to contest for county governor, based on the constitution, the Elections Act 2011, the Political Parties Act 2011, and Elections (General) Regulations 2012.

They specified that candidates must be a Kenyan citizen; must not hold dual citizenship; must be a registered voter; be a holder of a degree from a university recognized in Kenya; and be nominated by a political party or be an independent candidate.

14 comments on “Bishop Wanjiru Bible degree questioned

  1. Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues.
    It was definitely informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!


  2. Pouring water on the limping constitution:

    NAIROBI, KENYA: Enforcement of strident integrity laws and academic qualification as a precondition for running in elections will not apply for the March 4 exercise as had been expected.

    This is because it now turns out that Members of Parliament connived to suspend parts of the Elections Act that provided for the academic qualification, and watered down legislation meant to operationalise Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity.


  3. This should not even be up for debate. The law is clear and cannot be changed to accommodate such inconveniences. How exactly does one earn a doctorate before a bachelors degree? Whether she is popular or not, If she lacks the merit for the position, she shouldn’t be running for that position, case closed.


  4. this yet again demonstrates how this 10th parliament got many issues wrong

    first – i think whereas a well informed leader can make a better leader, am not sure that having a degree certificate is an indication of good leadership. most of the MPs being bribed and making really bad decisions have been through university.

    the role of elected officials is that of “representation” i.e the person that the electorate believes will best represent their interests. this is different say from govt service delivery where the govt requires the most qualified (academics and work related experience) to deliver services

    i sincerely hope the next parliament can distinguish these roles and better frame the requirements

    nevertheless, the law as it stands now is clear, bishop margaret has to in the next two weeks or so, clear this up or get some kind of reprieve otherwise as it stands she cannot be allowed. i would strongly urge her to focus energy on the county women rep. she can and will have a larger influence and be ready in 5 years to take the governor or higher


  5. Wanjiru says its propaganda.

    Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru on Saturday dismissed reports questioning her education as “propaganda” being spread by her rivals in the race for Nairobi governor’s seat.

    The reports in the social media claimed that Dr Wanjiru’s academic credentials were fake and that she will not be eligible to stand for election as governor because she does not have a degree qualification as required by law.

    But, speaking while on a campaign tour of Nairobi’s Dandora area, Bishop Wanjiru dismissed the allegation as mere “propaganda” by her rivals to “cause panic” among her supporters.

    “How can it be that one is called a doctor without a degree? This is propaganda being spread by my rivals but I am not bothered because it simply means they feel I am their biggest threat,” she said.

    Those jokers

    “Whoever is saying Dr Wanjiru does not have a degree must be joking. They are people who are panicking because they feel mama has taken over the city.”

    The law requires that a person contesting a gubernatorial seat must have at least a degree qualification to be eligible for elections.

    Bishop Wanjiru, who is also an Housing assistant minister, is the only woman so far seeking to become Nairobi’s first governor in a race that has also attracted former Mumias Sugar managing director Evans Kidero and Mr Philip Kisia, the former Nairobi town clerk. The three will have to battle it out in the nominations for the ODM ticket.

    Other aspirants, Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu, businessman Jimnah Mbaru, former town clerk John Gakuo and NCBDA chairman Timothy Kariuki, hope to vie on The National Alliance (TNA) ticket.

    Bishop Wanjiru urged her supporters to ignore such propaganda and instead focus on winning the ODM ticket in the nominations scheduled for January 17.

    “I know how I will deal with them (rivals). All I am requesting you to do for now is to come out in large numbers on the 17th and nominate me as your ODM candidate for Nairobi governor’s seat,” she told the crowd.

    The Starehe MP promised to start a waste management project to deal with waste that continues to be a big challenge for the residents.

    “I want to begin from where City Hall has failed and I will strive to build better markets and renovate the existing ones to help our traders,” she said


  6. For a party whose campaign is premised on, among other things, utmost respect for rule of law and reform, the CORD alliance must not nominate anyone who does not meet the minimum threshold as required by the constitution.

    There has been a myth propagated by some dubious pollsters that Margaret Wanjiru’s popularity in Nairobi County is unassailable and that she must be handed a direct nomination to compete as governor. That is not what we the residents of Nairobi want to see. We want free, fair and democratic nominations in which party members elect their representatives.

    Bishop Wanjiru must meet the threshold required for the Office of County Governor. If he degrees are unrecognized so be it. Secondly, even if the party accepts her academic papers and the IEBC rejects them after the deadline has lapsed, it means CORD will be handing the Governor’s seat to Jubilee. That is not a risk that a government that intends to fully implement the constitution and deliver a double digit economic growth wants to take. Nairobi happens to be the most strategic of all counties and anyone serving governor in Nairobi may as well be State President.

    Let’s face it. Bishop Wanjiru credentials are a far cry from those held by her competitors. Apart from managing a commercial church that derives its revenues mostly from donors she virtually has no experience in heading a self sustaining large scale commercial venture.

    I suggest she runs to reclaim her Starehe seat or Women’s Rep seat, or wait to be nominated to the senate/parliament. A run for governor is akin to attempt at punching above her weight.


    • Asante sana Phil,
      Obviously she will not be allowed to vie for the seat of governor because of the online degrees she posses. The worst case scenario would be giving Jubilee a walkover in Nairobi.

      I guess that many others might find themselves in the same situation if not properly vetted by CORD. These days people are getting degrees without breaking a sweat. The many private institutions in Kenya and parallel program’s have made it possible for people with money to easily attain qualifications. Just the other day the police spokesman Eric Kiraithi was accused of having hired someone else to write his master thesis and even do his exams.

      But my question is this, does Kisia or Kidero have what it takes to win in Nairobi?


    • These are some of the challenges that ODM/CORD must address immediately. It is better to deal with such disasters-waiting-to-happen immediately. I suspect there are many more Wanjirus that need to be weeded out.

      Secondly, CORD must be aware there will be international observers during their nomination processes in particular races warranting attention – for example the Siaya gubernatorial race featuring the brother of CORD’s flag-bearer. The Nairobi seat will be closely monitored – right at the primary/nomination level.

      Wanjiru clearly lacks the academic credentials required to run for Governor. She chose the wrong seat and must be told so in no uncertain terms. She is not qualified to run for Governor, and CORD must not risk her eventual disqualification after securing nomination. She would rather pick a different seat not requiring a degree.

      The trouble with Kenya is that rot has pervaded society so deeply that folks can run to River Road and print fake degrees – even the so called Evangelical Bishops. It should become a national priority to start vetting academic papers…Wanjiru is simply doing what very many Kenyans (unfortunately) do to get jobs in the public and private sector….there is a lot of fake degrees out there. Standards set out by the new Constitution must be strictly adhered to…to start cleaning up Kenya!


      • Friends;

        Margaret Wanjiru is a skilled campaigner and a hustler. I admire her industry in building and running a large church from scratch. She also skilfully lifted herself from penury becoming a very wealthy woman. She vanquished Maina Kamanda from Starehe. She is popular, let us not deny. These are solid political and ‘professional’ achievements.

        But they cannot run a complex county government.

        I am still unsure about whether she qualifies as Governor with her dodgy academics. But she is definitely more refined than Sonko or Waititu. But assuming she does qualify, she would still struggle to raise Nairobi’s management to international levels. I would therefore suggest that she is convinced to settle for Deputy Governor under Evans Kidero. She will then be in charge of ‘mobilisations and campaigns’, while Kidero would handle vision, policy and hands on management.

        If she is wildly popularly, and she qualifies to run; then we cannot subvert demokrasia. She must be convinced to run with Kidero as Deputy – with Kidero handling the business end of management while Wanjiru is the uniting figurehead.

        The problem we face is that you must be a good politician (with the thickest of skins) to run for Governor but once a governor, you must be an excellent manager. Unfortunately it is rare that you will be a sober and excellent manager and a great politician at the same time!


        • RR, Its good to have a good education but its not everything. We have many PhDs holders in parliament/government who are a disappointment to say the least. Yet, we have had people in parliament/government who have been exceptionally good even without degrees. * Sometimes* being wise is more important than being educated. If one is wise enough to delegate then all will be fine. My point is that Wanjiru might not have a proper degree but she might turn out to be a very good manager.

          The more important thing is to look at the all the candidates visions for Nairobi and see who has better ideas.

          On Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 3:30 PM, The Real Deal


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