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Qualifications for a Member of the County Assembly in Kenya

How to Become a Member of County Assembly (MCA) Kenya

A Member of County Assembly (MCA) or a Ward Representative plays a crucial role in devolution. The Constitution limits the role of a Member of the County Assembly to the county level of governance.

A Member of County Assembly plays three crucial roles. These are as follows: representation, legislation, and oversight. They represent residents from their wards in governance at the county level. They make and amend laws that affect the counties and oversee the executive arm of the county government.

A Member of the County Assembly also plays a crucial role to advance the role of the County Assembly. That is why Kenyans elect their MCA of choice every five years during the general elections.

For anyone who wants to vie for the seat, there are qualifications for election as a Member of the County Assembly in Kenya. There are also guidelines that are a set of conditions that they must meet to qualify to vie for the seat.

A Member of the County Assembly (MCA) can serve for a term of five years and they are eligible for re-election for as many times as possible because there are no term limits for MCAs.

Qualifications for election as a Member of the County Assembly in Kenya

To qualify to vie for the position of the Member of the County Assembly, you must:

  • be a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years before the election;
  • not hold dual citizenship (unless, according to IEBC, the citizenship of the other country has been obtained by operation of law without the capacity to opt-out);
  • not owe allegiance to a foreign state;
  • be a registered voter;
  • be nominated by a Political Party or is an independent candidate.
  • meet the statutory moral and ethical requirements under the Leadership and Integrity Act;
  • not be a public officer or acting in any State of public office other than a Member of the County Assembly;
  • not be an undischarged bankrupt;
  • not be a person of unsound mind;
  • not be subject to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months from the date of registration of candidates or date of elections;
  • not have been found to have abused or misused state or public office or contravened Chapter Six of the Constitution; and
  • not have been dismissed or removed from public office for contravening the provisions of Articles 75, 76, 77 and 78 of the Constitution.

The minimum age limit to vie for the position of a member of the county assembly in Kenya is 18 years.

Requirements for the position of a Member of the County Assembly

A party candidate, an independent candidate, or their authorized agent should submit certain documents to IEBC during the nomination process.

At the moment, a university degree is not a requirement to vie for the position of a member of the county assembly.

They should submit a certified copy of a national identity card or a valid passport. The ID or passport should be the document the candidate used to register as a voter. They should also submit a passport size photograph with white background in soft (electronic) and hard (printed) copy.

If the candidate was a public officer, they should provide a letter of discharge from their employer. The letter should confirm that the candidate was not in employment six months to the general elections. This requirement does not apply to those holding other elective seats that may want to contest for the position of a Member of the County Assembly.

A party candidate should submit a nomination certificate from a fully registered political party nominating the candidate. An authorized official in the party should have duly signed the certificate.

The party or independent candidate should submit a duly signed Code of Conduct (Second Schedule of the Elections Act, 2011).

Commission Form 18

The candidate or their agent should submit a duly filled Commission Nomination Form 18, including:

  • An original Statutory Declaration Form (Regulation 41 of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012)
  • An original Self-Declaration Form (Regulation 46 of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012) as prescribed in the First Schedule of the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012
  • The names of a proposer and a seconder who shall be registered voters in the respective electoral area. In the case of a Party Candidate, the proposer and seconder must be members of the candidate’s party (Regulation 38(b) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012). In the case of an Independent Candidate, the proposer and seconder must not be members of any political party (Regulation 39(c) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).

Additional requirements for independent candidates

There are a few additional requirements for independent candidates intending to vie for the position of a Member of County Assembly.

They should submit a clearance certificate from the Registrar of Political Parties. The certificate should certify that the person was not a member of any political party for the last three months before the elections. (Regulation 15(a) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).

The candidate or their agent should provide a soft and a hard copy of at least 500 supporters in a form prescribed by IEBC. They should submit the form to the Constituency Returning Officer by a date set aside by IEBC.

They should also provide duly filled Form of Intention to Contest in the form prescribed by the election regulations. (Regulation 15(b) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012). In addition, the candidate should provide the symbol they intend to use during the election. IEBC should have approved the symbol in accordance with Section 32 of the Elections Act, 2011.

Lastly, the candidate should maintain a functioning office in their respective electoral area where they intend to contest. The office must be available for inspection by IEBC by a date the commission prescribes. The candidate should communicate the address, including the physical address of the office, to the commission.

Nomination Fees for MCA Position

The nomination fees are payable to the IEBC in the form of a bankers cheque. They are:

  • KSh2,500 for a candidate who is a woman, a person with a disability or youth. Youth means an adult below the age of 35 years;
  • KSh5,000 for any other candidate.

Do you have any questions or comments on the qualifications for election as a Member of the County Assembly in Kenya? Sound off in the comments!

George Githinji
About George Githinji

I love writing content that is insightful and informative. The articles I write have a common #1 goal: Keeping it as simple as possible for users to understand the content. Read More

63 thoughts on “Qualifications for a Member of the County Assembly in Kenya”

  1. Thanks, I know that am already late in processing my candidature for the MCA’s seat in Namboboto/Nambuku ward, Funyula Constituency, Busia Country. My request, do you have in mind any party that I can quickly join and advance my quest?

  2. I would like to contest for the MCA seat coming to 2017 God willing. Is it advisable for me to start my arrangements?

    • You meant 2022? You can begin even right now such as by trying to build a base for yourself. Making yourself known or your name famous out there.

  3. Iam happy to know this fruitful information. I am now ready to vie for MCA seat the year 2022 at Nakuru county Lare division.

  4. I’m a diploma holder. Will I get the opportunity to vie for MCA position in 2022?

    • Hello. The IEBC was considering to increase the requirement to vie for the position of MCA to a diploma by 2022 and degree for MPs (National Assembly and Senate). So, if that happens, you could still vie. Though at the moment, there are no minimum educational requirements in force.

  5. Did IEBC approve the requirements for a higher educational level on Mca’s and MPs?

    • Hi Brian. IEBC submitted the proposals on the same to Parliament for 2017 elections, but the MPs never approved them. Now you have to just keep checking what will happen when we move towards 2022 elections.

  6. I wish everyone contesting for this seat now and in future all the best.

  7. The information, comments and replies have been so helpful. 2022, MCA seat, here I come!

  8. Hello Mr George. I’m ambitious in vying for MCA position in my ward coming 2022. Kindly, I don’t have a form four certificate, can I still qualify to vie, please??

    • Hello Mr David. I would advise you to try and get that form four certificate (you can join the two years adult programme) and maybe even a diploma because IEBC might change the requirements for vying for MCA seat come 2022, even though parliament still has to approve them.

  9. I have learnt a lot by reading this and I am prepared to run come 2022.

  10. Hello Mr George? I was of the opinion of vying for an MCA come 2022….and now I know what to do when that time comes. Kindly update me of any change’s that mite be there b4 2022. Regards.

  11. Thanks, Mr Githinji, but In case I am interested to vie for any post where do I start my registration and how soon or late can I do it?

    • Hello. It depends whether you want to use the party candidate way or the independent candidate way. If the party way, find a party to become a member as early as now. If independent, you are required to not have been a member of a political party for three months before the election date and have resigned from employment if a public servant six months before the election date.

  12. This is a good update. I will be there in 2022 for Kemeloi-Maraba Ward in Aldai Constituency.

  13. Hello, sir…which is the exact mean grade required for seat to vie for mca seat?

  14. This was very helpful. I have information which will help me in future. Thanks, Mr Githinji.

  15. Are there any other charges a part from the 5000 for registration?

  16. What if by that time (2022) you will be pursuing a diploma course? I mean you don”t have a diploma certificate yet?

    • It is possible IEBC will provide new guidelines for elections or update the existing ones. So it is good to be on the lookout for that on their website.

  17. I am a form four graduate planning to join college soon. Will I qualify to vie for mca 2022 without a diploma?

    • Hi. Unless the election guidelines change, then you might be able to vie. But to be safe, just make sure you get that diploma before 2022.

  18. Hi, George, I’m glad to go through the questions regarding the seat of M.C.A. and your responses. Now I think I can trace the way to begin from. My question is how can I access any political party, or for what duration one is required to be a member of a political party to be nominated by the party as their candidate for any kind of election? M.C.A. aspirant south Sakwa Ward Migori county.

    • Hello Duncan. You can check the political parties Act to see if there are any provisions on the issues you asked above. Regarding accessing a political party, you must become a member through registration and most have regional or local offices.

  19. Hey, I’m interested in the MCA seat 2022 in my ward but I may not be holding degree since I have deferred my program in KU. Where do I start from since I want to start registering to a certain party as early as now?

    • For now, you can try to visit your local party of choice’s office and find out more information about becoming a party member. But if you are already a registered member, you can still seek more information on how to be more active and engaged in the party for a chance to be nominated when the time comes. I would also challenge you to check out the Political Parties Act and see if it has more information that you may require. Cheers!

    • Hi. Thanks for expressing interest in my articles. I have added your email but do confirm your subscription by checking your email inbox.

  20. I am very happy to know this fruitful information. Please keep informing me about any changes regarding educational requirements. I am interested in vying for MCA seat.

  21. Very good information. I am from Nyamira county living in Qatar. I have an Engineering Certificate of Qatar. Will I be acceptable to vie for MCA or will I use my high school certificate?

  22. I have read all the quiz and responses and I find them so helpful. Thanks, Mr Githinji for the updates am now I’m good to go.

      • Hi, I would like to vie for the 2022 MCA seat. I’m am a lady aged 20. What is the educational requirement (what grade)?

        • Hi Milly. What is your educational level (grades don’t really matter)? Just to be safe, ensure you have a post-secondary education certificate. IEBC wanted parliament to ensure MCAs have diplomas by 2022.

  23. Hi. Kindly advice me where to register as a party member. I’m currently living in Nairobi but my home is Kamasian Ward Kipkelion West where I’m interested in being an MCA.

    • Hi. Visit the offices of the party you want to register as a member. They will help you out. Most of these parties have regional offices too and websites.

  24. Hello, is there a course in particular that someone is required to pursue a diploma in or it’s just any course?

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