Si Lazima! High Court Nullifies Degree Requirement For Members Of Parliament

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High Court Nullifies Degree Requirement For Members Of Parliament

The High Court has nullified a requirement that Members of Parliament must have a university degree.

Si Lazima! High Court Nullifies Degree Requirement For Members Of Parliament

Justice Anthony Mrima termed the requirement unconstitutional as there was no adequate public participation.

He was ruling on a petition by voters Paul Macharia Wambui, Joseph Karanja Muchai, and David Kimani Njenga.

The ruling, which comes in the wake of the ongoing political party primaries, offers a big relief to political aspirants who do not have that academic qualification.

In July 2021, the Senate Committee on Justice, Legal and Human Rights chaired by Nyamira Senator, Okongo Omogeni (SC) held a virtual meeting to deliberate on two draft elections (Amendment) Bills, 2021 sponsored by Senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) and his Narok counterpart Ledama ole Kina.

In his proposal, Senator Murkomen did seek to have the Elections Act amended to enable a person who is able to read and write in English or Kiswahili and in the case of the deaf, to be literate in Kenya sign language, to be nominated as Member of Parliament.

Senator Ledama proposes that a person seeking to be an MP should hold a degree whilst those seeking to be a member of the County Assembly should hold a Certificate of Secondary Education or those who have served two terms as MCA or Member of Local Authority.

Currently, the law only allows the nomination of a candidate for election as MP or MCA, if they hold a degree from a recognized university.

Sen Murkomen argues that the law is not only restrictive but discriminates against persons who may not have a degree as it implies that only persons who have a degree have the capacity to serve in public office.


Felicity Gitonga
Felicity Gitonga is the founder of Africa Business News. abn, freelance writer, journalist, and author with a passion for telling stories.

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