Youth policy analyst moves to court to challenge degree requirement for parliamentarians


A youth policy analyst has moved to court to challenge the constitutionality of section 22 of election Act that requires people contesting for Member of Parliament and Member of county assembly to have a degree. 

Gloria Orwoba argues that the said section violates, infringes and threatens fundamental freedom in the Bill of Rights and therefore wants it declared unconstitutional.

In her petition, Orwoba also wants that the limitations contained in section 22 requiring contestants to have degrees in all levels of elective posts are not justified in open democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom. 

“The said requirements have no rational connection with the objective and the extent of the limitations are unconstitutional, illegal and nullity,” says the petitioner.

According to the 2019 census report only less than 2 percent of Kenyans had a chance to access University education. As such the  98 percent of Kenyans will have to surrender their political right of representation to the 2 percent whether they like it or not.

Orwoba avers that the Parliament by glorifying the conventional degree have failed to consider equalising qualifications attained through skills, experience and knowledge. 

This, she says, is despite the fact that the same parliament have gone ahead and enacted Kenya National Qualification Framework Act 2014.

“The Act establishes Kenya National Qualifications Authority whose function includes to define the levels of qualifications and competencies, provide for the recognition of attainment or competencies including skills, knowledge, attitudes and values among other roles,” states the petitioner.

The analyst further notes that the Kenyan government on or about the year 2017 introduced Competency based Curriculum (CBC) designed by the Kenya Institute OF Curriculum Development (KICD). The CBC is designed to emphasise the significance of developing skills and knowledge and also applying those competencies to real life situation.

In addition, the petitioner argues that its not reasonable nor justifiable to lock out Kenyans specifically the youths and other marginalised persons from vying as representative of their people just because they do not possess a conventional degree. The Petitioner further states that Kenyan population is diverse and consists of minority communities some who even are hunters and gatherers and such communities stand discriminated if the mark for leadership is capped at conventional degree level.