Sunday December 4, 2016
Aden Duale, the majority leader of the National Assembly, with other Jubilee Party leaders at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi on November 23, 2016. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Parliament has spared its members the requirement to have a degree after receiving complaints and pleas.
The Nation has learnt of intense lobbying from the Senate and the National Assembly. The lobbies met the leadership of the ruling Jubilee and Cord inside and outside Parliament to defeat the Bill passed more than a week ago.
Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale will be recalling the Bill which has caused panic among some seasoned politicians.
Some of them are serving their third term but did not go past secondary school, or primary school for some.
“I have notified the speaker of my intention for a recommittal of amendments. I therefore want to assure all those affected that there should be no cause for alarm,” Mr Duale said on Saturday.
In legal parlance, recommittal is referring a proposed legislation to a committee of Parliament again to thrash contentious clauses.
Passed without debate, the MPs will have to pass one final vote on the proposed law in its entirety.
The opposition, however, says the government side is acting unilaterally.
“We have not sat down with Mr Duale to agree on how to go about this Bill,” Cord chief whip Thomas Mwadeghu said.
According to the Wundanyi MPs, the idea to have some minimum qualifications for those who make laws is not a bad idea.
“As the country develops, it would be good to have MPs who are more conversant with complex issues, who have a wide scope of world affairs. I don’t know any other way of achieving this but the intention is not to cast aspersion on anybody,” he said.
The MPs voted on December 1 to pass, but it has turned out that the House lacks the courage to pass such a law as MPs look at it as shooting themselves in the foot.
The Bill had been proposed by the electoral commission which wanted that contestants for a parliamentary and senate seat in 2017 must have a degreed.
It also proposed that aspirants for county assembly need a post-secondary school diploma to run in 2017 and a degree for the 2022 poll.
The law says the president, deputy president, governors and deputy governors are required to hold a degree but silent on the other elective seats.
This is not the first time MPs are trying to introduce minimum academic qualifications for aspirants for elective seats. The 10th parliament tried and failed.
Before the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution wound up last December, it said in its final report that the low academic qualifications among county assembly members was responsible for the poor laws they were passing.
Deputy Majority leader in the senate Kipchumba Murkomen said they will shoot the Bill down when it is introduced for debate.