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You can now vie for an MCA seat without a degree

October 16th 2021, 7:35:42 am

Section 22(1)b of elections act is of no legal effect hence null and void ab initio.

The High Court has declared the degree requirement for MCA aspirants as unconstitutional.

The High Court has declared the degree requirement for MCA aspirants as unconstitutional.

The court ruled that the process is illegal because there was no public participation towards the enactment of Section 22 of the Elections Act.

Section 22(1A) of the Elections Act states that a person may be nominated as a candidate for an elective post if only the person has a university degree recognised in Kenya.

“This section shall come into force and shall apply to qualifications for candidates in the General Election to be held after the 2017 General Election,” states the Act.

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IEBC has already declared that it will not clear any candidate seeking to be elected in any of the six elective positions without a degree certificate.

The court ruled that; "The final disposition of the court after submission by parties is that the consolidated petitions have succeeded in the following terms: Declaration the section 22 1b is unconstitutional for violating article 10 for lack of public participation."

Sheria Mtaani, a non-governmental organization based in Mathare had moved to court seeking to quash the controversial law.

Through lawyer Dunstan Omari, the activists argued that the law is discriminatory and unfair especially to the MCA aspirants.

“That law if implemented will deny voters a right to choose a candidate of their choice who has no university degrees.

It will also deny voters a right to freely participate in elections due to the limitation of the people to select during the elections,” argued Mr Omari.

"That the General elections which should by law be held on the second Tuesday of August 2022 are fast approaching.

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IEBC is making preparations and directives to political parties to propose its candidates for the six elective positions thus the need for the court to urgently and expeditiously deal and determine the constitutional controversy," Omari contnued.

The lawyer further stated that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the academic year 2020 which has also played a significant role in hampering and frustrating the academic progression.

He argued that this Covid-19 factor was never within the contemplation of the legislature when the impugned section of the law was enacted.

Sheria Mtaani further argued that failure for most persons to achieve a university degree in the current Kenyan context is also arguably a result of the high poverty levels which have bedeviled this country since independence.

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Cyprian Kimutai

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