Aisha Jumwa Explains Her D- Certificate, and Masters Degree Obtained Before Earning Bachelors Qualification
As MPs began the second day of vetting President William Ruto’s Cabinet nominees, Aisha Jumwa’s academic papers came under close scrutiny.
The former Malindi MP was chastised for glaring inconsistencies in her academic papers after it was revealed that she obtained a Masters’s Degree before completing her Bachelor’s degree.
The ex-lawmaker was also chastised for enrolling for a degree despite receiving a D- (Minus) in her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.
Jumwa was named Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender, and Affirmative Action by Ruto.
Opiyo Wandayi, the minority leader, questioned how the nominee received a Master’s Degree before the Bachelor’s.
Jumwa told the Committee on Appointments, chaired by Speaker Moses Wetang’ula, that she took her KCSE as a private candidate in 2011 and then went on to Jkuat, where she graduated with a degree in governance in 2022.
The nominee also informed the Wetang’ula team that in 2015, she earned an Executive Masters in Leadership and Governance from the same university.
Jumwa was overcome with emotion at one point as she described how her poor parents were unable to pay her fees, forcing her to drop out of school in Form two and later marry off at a young age.
“My parents were poor; they used to struggle to provide for me,” Jumwa fought tears as she narrated.
The Ugunja MP, on the other hand, demanded that the university explain the discrepancies in the two certificates.
“Even the university needs to clarify this,” Wandayi said.
Pokot South MP David Pkosing also demanded an explanation for Jumwa’s ability to pursue a degree despite having a D-minus at KCSE.
To be eligible for a degree course, students must have a KCSE score of at least a C+ (Plus).
“I want the nominee to clarify what she got in Form Four. The paper before us is that she got a D- and I am comparing that to a degree. What is the process of getting a degree?” Pkosing asked.
Jumwa, on the other hand, insisted that her academic journey should serve as an example to young people that getting low grades does not mean giving up on one’s dreams.
“It wasn’t easy for me to score those marks you are saying because I had to take myself to class after dropping in Form Two. I struggled as a private candidate but I took it as a challenge that I had to be better to serve society better,” Jumwa said.
Some Kenya Kwanza brigade members in the Committee defended Jumwa, claiming that the line of questioning was designed to intimidate her.
Teso South MP Mary Emase claimed Azimio’s plan to harass the nominee included questions about Jumwa’s academic background.
“We want to be consistent, is it because she is a woman that she is being harassed?” Emase asked.
In defending Jumwa, Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei told the Committee that there are many Kenyans who have low grades but have managed to enroll in a degree program.
“I know people who have joined university having got very low grades. A case in point is Kennedy Odede who sits on the Board of United Nations,” Shollei said.
Wetang’ula also weighed in, claiming that Jumwa’s nomination to head the critical Public Service docket was not based on his academic credentials.
Wetang’ula explained that no law requires Cabinet secretaries to have a degree..
The nominee also told the committee that she is worth Sh100 million, including a house in Malindi and Nairobi worth Sh85 million, with the rest coming from unspecified “side hustles.”
Jumwa stated that the majority of the court cases she is facing are politically motivated and that she is innocent in the murder case.