MPs question TSC nominee's nationality, academic papers

Wednesday March 18 2020
leila

Ms Leila Abdi Ali when she appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Education on March 12, 2020. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By OUMA WANZALA

A Teachers Service Commission (TSC) commissioner nominee was on Thursday put to task over her academic qualifications, work experience and nationality during vetting by MPs.

Appearing before the National Assembly’s Education Committee chaired by Julius Melly (Tinderet), Ms Leila Abdi Ali failed to produce her academic certificates for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education(KCPE) and Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE).

Instead, Ms Ali produced a photocopy of Form Four mock exams done in 1996 and a degree certificate from London South Bank University.

She insisted that she has an O level certificate but could not produce it saying she did not collect the document after graduating.

The committee also put her to task over her nationality after she revealed that she was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, but was raised in Kajiado, Kenya.

“I was born in Mogadishu but I studied in Kenya in Oloitoktok. I see myself as a Kenyan,” said the nominee, who also disclosed that she has dual citizenship of Kenya and United Kingdom.

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Her appointment was opposed by Ali Maalim Hassan, a resident of Mandera, who said the nominee was not a resident of North Eastern since the position had been reserved for the region.

The committee demanded for the academic documents as had been indicated in an invitation letter from Parliament. Some questioned if she completed secondary school.

The committee vice-chairman Amos Kimunya put her to task over inconsistencies in her curriculum vitae and university academic certificates saying she lacked 10 years’ experience that one needs to serve as a commissioner with TSC.

There were also inconsistencies on when she graduated from London South Bank University and started to work both in Kenya and UK.

She was directed to get certified documents from her past employers but she blamed the inconsistencies on typographical errors.

Mr Kimunya pointed out the gaps saying she had indicated that she was working at Kenya Revenue Authority during the same time she was studying in London.

Mr Melly directed her to submit required documents by Friday to enable the committee make their decision.

Earlier, lawyer Mbage Ng'ang'a assured the committee that he will work hard to ensure that TSC has good working relations with other stakeholders.

Mr Ng'ang'a said the current frosty relation between the commission and the union is not healthy.

Section 8 of the Teachers Service Commission Act, 2012 requires the National Assembly to consider and either approve or reject any or all of the nominees within 21 days.

The TSC selection panel recommended nine candidates to replace commissioners Cleophas Tirop (Rift Valley), Salome Gichura (Central) and Saadia Abdi Kontoma (North Eastern).

The three retired after their six-year term ended last year.