A candidate seeking to become a commissioner for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) put to task to explain how he obtained a PhD in just six months and from a university whose existence was in doubt.
The panel led by Chairperson Dr Elizabeth Muli wanted to know how Salim Ndemo managed to get a Master’s and a PhD degree within that short time.
According to academic papers submitted in his application, he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Busines Administration on August 15, 2008, and subsequently a PhD on January 30, 2009.
“I know the kind of effort and time and sweat that goes into preparing and getting a PhD. I am curious to know how you got yours in 6 months,”Muli said.
In his response, Ndemo stated that he had a very flexible timetable and was able to do them simultaneously, one after the other.
Ndemo further explained that he was able to complete his PhD in such a short time as he had a proper grasp on his research topic: “provisional administration”since he had already authored a book about it.
The panel also sought clarification on the validity of his PhD stating claims that the university which awarded him the degree was not accredited.
Ndemo stated that when he enrolled for the programme, the university was enrolled in Delaware. He explained that the degrees are notarized(validated) which means the government is aware of its activities even if the university did not comment on the contents of that.
He further explained that the university had not yet applied for accreditation by then and was not certain of its current accreditation status. He also revealed that he did not have to physically attend the university as it is a cyberspace university.
Another candidate Saeed Khamees Saeed was also put task to defend himself if he would not militarise the poll agency if given a chance.
Saaeed a retired Kenya Navy Officer officer, defended himself arguing that he would distinguish his military background from the new job and strictly discharge his duties based on the policies of the commission.
“Yes I have a military background but the reality is that am adaptable to a new environment. I will abide by the policies of the IEBC just like in the military where we follow lawful orders,”he said.
When asked by panelist Joseph Mutie on what he would do if the election results were disputed and considered irregular, he asserted he would take responsibility as a commissioner.