By Obegi Malack
More than half of Kajiado County Assembly MCAs will be locked out from contesting for reelection if Elections Act of 2012 that demands contestants for MP and MCA seats to have university degree qualifications is implemented in 2022.
Majority of Kajiado MCAs have no degrees, others who foresaw the act being implemented in the future have already enrolled for degree programmes and others have already graduated.
With less than two years to the 2022 general election many MCAs and aspiring candidates will be locked out since Covid-19 had also affected education academic calendar,
The county assembly of Kajiado has no data of the MCAs educational background. Marginalized communities have been disadvantages for long in accessing education and they are still behind and these may see thousands locked out in Kajiado and Narok counties.
Sholinke/Oloosirkon MCA Francis Kaesha graduated in 2017 with several MCAs among them Ewuaso Ward MCA Justus Kilesi Ngussur who has already declared interest in senatorial seat graduating this year.
Ongata Rongai MCA Mwathi pere says he advocates for degree because most Kenyans are nowadays learned. He however says having the education qualifications contributes very little in leadership.
Pere who is in his third term in office said most of his colleagues in the assembly have no degrees but they have leadership skills.
“If they implement the law salaries should also be same, if an MCA has a degree he should receive same salary as MP, we even have MPs who represent same number of people as MCAs,” he said.
The requirement for lawmakers to have a degree was enacted in the Elections Act of 2011 and was to apply in the 2013 general glection but implementation has been postponed several times and will now take effect in 2022.
The National Assembly had successfully pushed its implementation after the 2017 election; this gave time aspirants to prepare themselves before 2022 general election.
The County Assemblies Forum has said provisions contained in the Elections Act that demands contestants to have degree could lock out majority of MCAs from leadership.
The association is planning to move to court to block its implementation.
Ndegwa Wahome, chairman of CAF said the directive is unconstitutional and is against rights of the electorates who are mandated to elect their representatives.
Opinion leader Ndiba wa Wanjiku says the law will lock out several able leaders if it is implemented, he says leadership is not all about papers but representation.
In 2022 the MCAs will have more roles such as managing ward funds if the Building Bridges Initiative sails through.
The BBI proposes for introduction of Ward Development Fund for each county to be introduced through an amendment to the Constitution.
In each financial year at least five per cent of all the county government’s revenue should be directed towards funds kitty. Parliament shall enact legislation to provide for the management of the Fund.
The MCA will also have an opportunity to be appointed as County Committee Members.