High Court orders AG, IEBC respond to petitioners in degree requirement suit

The current law states that those running for office must hold a Bachelor's Degree

High Court orders AG, IEBC respond to petitioners in degree requirement suit

The High court has ordered petitioners in a case requiring contestants for MP and MCA seats to have a university degree qualification be served to the respondents within five days.

Additionally, the Attorney General, the Speaker of the National Assembly and IEBC have been directed to file their responses within 10 days .

The matter will be mentioned on July 7.

Degree is a Must-Have

According to the constitution, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of County Assembly (MCAs) must hold a bachelor’s degree before they can run for office.

The law which was passed right before the 2017 election period prohibits politicians from running for office if they do not have the necessary paperwork.

MCAs have argued against the legislation saying that it rules out those who consider themselves qualified leaders but do not have the required paperwork.

The Petition

Two petitions have been filed challenging this with the first petitioner, Gloria Orwaba arguing that the law violates the constitution, arguing that it introduces unnecessary hurdles for those seeking to vie for elective posts.

She adds that the implementation of the said law is discriminatory against many Kenyans who may qualify as good leaders.

“Section 22 of the Election 22 of the Election ACT 2011 specifically fails to recognize any other form of training or competence other than a conventional degree from a recognized University,”reads court papers.

Sheria Mtaani and lawyer Shadrack Wambui filed the second petition through lawyer Danstan Omar, arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the academic year and thus altered the course of many Kenyans who wanted to have their degree by year 2020.

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