The clause 22 of the elections act requiring the members of parliament and the members of the county assemblies to have degrees is definitely a thorn in the flesh in Kenyan leaders allied to both sides of the political divide.
Even the Kenyan Deputy president William Samoei Ruto on Thursday weighed in on this clause that requires members of county assembly and legislators to have compulsory degrees before seeking any political seat.
According to the second in command, the elections act ought to be scrapped to allow every Tom Dick and Harry to contest and seek political offices.
“The Constitution prohibits any unreasonable restrictions being placed on the way of voters or candidates to be able to vie or vote in any elections,” Said DP Ruto on Thursday.
Some of the members of parliament without degrees who are likely to be affected in 2022 by this elections act are Kapseret member of parliament Oscar Sudi, Makadara member of parliament George Aladwa, Suna East member of parliament Junet Mohamed, Bahati member of parliament Kimani Ngunjiri, Kibra legislator Imran Okoth, Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir.
Others are Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama, Embakasi West MP George Theuri, nominated senator Christine Zawadi, Bomet Woman rep Joyce Korir, Ganze mp Teddy Mwambire, Garsen MP Guyo Ali Wario, Samburu woman Mp Maison Leshoomo, Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi, Matungulu MP Stephen Mule, Kaloleni MP Paul Katana, Laikipia North MP Saraha Korere, Kiambu MP Jude Njomo, Nominated MP Maina Kamanda Taita Taveta woman rep Lydia Haika, Teso South MP Geoffrey Omuse, Makueni woman Rep Rose Museo, Roysambu MP Waihenya Ndirangu, Ki;ifi Woman Rep Getrude Mbeyu, Embu woman rep Jane Njiru and Igembe Central MP Iringo Kubai amongst many more.
As a result, deputy president William Ruto challenged the National Assembly to establish laws that will not discriminate against any Kenyan as per the constitution.
“To say that MCAs should have the same qualifications as MPs, Governors and even the President is not reasonable, already we have Parliament reconsidering Section 22 in the Elections Act so that we can remove what the law provides today that in my opinion is unreasonable restrictions on candidates that want to be elected,” he said.
Further, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen vowed to lead the house in throwing out that amendment. According to Murkomen, all that a leader needs is to be able to read and write.
“The purpose of this bill is to amend the Elections Act No.24 of 2011 to enable a person who is able to read and write to be nominated as a candidate for elections as a Member of Parliament,” the draft amendment bill reads in part.