Come next general election in 2022 and any Kenyan seeking to be elected into office will need to have a university degree according to the independent electoral and boundary commission Chaiman Mr. Chebukati.
This is after a act of parliament enacted by parliament before the 2017 elections which is set to be effective from the 2022 elections. Before the act was enacted, only the president, deputy president, Governors and their deputies were required to have a university degree as a qualification.
According to analysts, the wisdom behind the inclusion of a university degree in other posts was because of their nature which is legislative, from the MCA all the way to parliament and the senate. It is understood that all these positions require an elected member to draft legislation as well as contribute to such motions in parliament, hence some level of higher education is a necessity.
The motion has elicited reaction from several elected members
According to Kandara Member of Parliament Alice Wahome “The requirement of an academic degree for Parliamentary and county Assembly elective seats set by Parliament was an unreasonable standard and failed to apprehend the role and functions of those offices.A degree for everyone is totally unnecessary.” she posted on her Twitter account.
Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale opines that “Only 495,000 Kenyans out of the current population of 52,000,000 have a University degree. This is equal to (495,000÷52,000,000)×100 =0.95% A law that makes politics the preserve of 0.95% Kenyans is a bad law. Degree holders must be prepared to square off with other mortals”
Other sections of Kenyans have expressed their opinion on the requirements, but opinion is widely divided on this opinion.
According to @Historykenya101 “You need a Bachelor’s Degree,or 3 Courses in Engineering, to operate a Solar Panel you bought with your own money.But you only need a Birth Certificate to be an MCA responsible for legislating & representing the interests of over 30,000 human beings.“
While Gideon Ngambau on Twitter suggests that “I don’t agree with the minimum Degree requirement for electoral representation. It is an Elite Racket CONSPIRACY. Most of Kenya’s problems -Economic , Social & Political -are not due to uneducated officials, they are by Educated Crooks in Parliament ,Executive and Counties.”
According to reports, there are plans by a section of MPs and MCAs to scuttle the requirement by either pushing the effective date of the act to 2027 or by repealing the act. We can only wait, This is Kenya