Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, claims that irregularities in the recently released 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results stem from procurement squabbles within the Education Ministry.
On November 23, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu released the results, prompting complaints about the misalignment of some candidates' Kiswahili marks to Kenyan Sign Language, even though they did not take the latter subject.
There were also allegations that all candidates received 75 on the science subject at one school.
Odinga told journalists in Nairobi on Wednesday that a UK firm was hired in 2016 to print the exams due to concerns about the integrity of the national exams.
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He claims that the Kenya Kwanza government abruptly canceled the tender for this year's exam because the UK company refused to give kickbacks.
"The Kenya Kwanza administration awarded the contract to a Mombasa Road-based company. It did not have the capacity and could not assure the integrity of the exams. The Mombasa Road-based company outsourced to a company based in India," he said.
The opposition leader claims that this is what caused the shambles.
"Some of them in the (SMS) short code were different from what was in the schools. KNEC is calling it non-alignment. KCPE candidates were graded for an exam they did not sit," Odinga said.
"The mess with KCPE began with a tender war. Ministry of Education officials were against each other. It has messed up the KCPE and will likely impact KCSE," he added, referring to the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations.
Saying, "The integrity of our exams is under threat," Odinga noted that they have evidence to substantiate his reports and that they have written to "stakeholders" to fight for the integrity of the examination.
He demanded that the award of the tender to the purported Mombasa Road-based company be thoroughly investigated and that Kenyans be informed of how the award was made.
Following complaints about the KCPE results, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) stated that it had conducted a thorough investigation and discovered no evidence of malpractice by the institution, where candidates were said to have received identical marks.
"Science is a multiple-choice question paper, thus making it possible for the candidates to get identical marks," KNEC CEO Dr David Njengere said in a statement to newsrooms.
Concerning mark misalignment, the exam body maintained that all results on its portal were correct and that the errors only affected candidates who attempted to access theirs via the 40054 SMS code.