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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:

  • KES 2,500 for a candidate who is a woman, a person with disabilities or a youth. Youth means an adult below the age of 35 years;
  • KES 5,000 for any other candidate.

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

  1. Daniel Mutuku

    The national identity card, or passport plus citizenship have appeared to be the key factors to be considered plus education credentials for one to contest for the MCA position.

  2. Babu

    Update me on any educational changes for MCA position. Will the diploma certificate be required to be specific? Or just any diploma from any course? In a case where your course took you 6 months for you to get the diploma.

    1. Subscribe to this blog and you will be notified when we update this article. Doesn’t a diploma take two years? You will have to confirm with IEBC in your case.

  3. kiptoo Jc

    In case of a vacant post of a county assembly speaker, how long will the deputy act on his/her capacity?

  4. Kiptoo JC

    Hi! I’ve been following all along. Thanks for your updates.

    1. Thank you. Don’t forget to subscribe for future updates.

      1. Kiptoo Jc

        Hi! If in a nomination, aspirant(A) emerges the winner but closely following is aspirant (B) who is a PLWD. Can the disability be considered?

        1. No. The winner takes all.

  5. Vincent Kurgat

    I will start my teaching profession from next year, 2020 Jan. Have been appointed by TSC to teach at a particular school. I also yearn to vie for MCA in 2022. How will I play my cards to ensure that I don’t lose my job if it happens that I lost the MCA position?

    1. Teachers are considered public officers, so you will have to quit your job six months to the general elections and provide a letter of discharge from your employer. But to get better advice, I would advise you to write to IEBC and TSC.

  6. malumba jackson

    What if the IEBC says by 2022 that the minimum qualification is a university degree, can someone in campus still qualify?

    1. Maybe not because you have to submit the degree certificate to them.

      1. Hassan Muriuki

        Where can I get this duly filled intention paper for me to submit? Second the filling form for 500 supporters.

        1. Download the election regulations and check those sections I have linked. You could also contact IEBC for clarification.

  7. Alzavan kimathi

    Hallo. I’m physically challenged. I want to vie for a nomination position in Nakuru. What are the steps?

    1. Hi. As indicated above, you can either vie by joining a political party or as an independent candidate. If you take the political party route, just visit your local offices for your political party and register as a member. Then when nominations come, you are eligible for nomination.

  8. Simon ng'ambo

    How do you go on looking for a political party that will suit you best? How can I get one soon? I’m in Tana Delta, Garsen Constituency, Kipini West Ward.

    1. Most political parties have regional offices. So you can just check up your political party of choice and give them a call or write to them. You have to register as a member if you want to get a chance at nomination when the time comes. All the best.

  9. bosco shuku

    Are there any extra charges apart from 5000 shillings? And will it be possible for a person who is going to graduate next year to vie for MCA seat and is marriage status a problem? These are my questions and kindly answer them for me.

    1. The charges mentioned above only relate to the nomination by IEBC. If you want to be nominated by a political party, there are charges involved which are prescribed by each party. If you are graduating next year from university, you can still vie for the MCA seat in 2022. Marriage is not a requirement at all (usually, this is an issue of how your society feels about or perceives unmarried people and it has nothing to do with qualifying to vie for the seat).

  10. Simon Maitha

    Hey! I’d like any updates concerning 2022. What IEBC would say about qualification for MCA and how one can enter into a political party before it’s late.

    1. Hi. Just subscribe to this site and you shall be updated when those kinds of posts come up or are updated.

  11. Simon Ndune

    Thanks for giving me a new light. Let me prepare to vie for the MCA’s seat at Mwawesa Ward in Kilifi County, Rabai Sub-County come 2022.

    1. You are welcome and all the best.

  12. samuel ouma

    I would like to vie for this MCA seat (God willing) by 2027. At that time, I will be ready. Thank you for this information.

    1. You’re welcome and all the best.

  13. John wanderi

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

    1. Hi. Just any course of your choice.

  14. Sharim Shar

    What are the academic qualifications for the MCAs seat?

    1. IEBC does not specify any at the moment. But a post-secondary school certificate is desirable.

  15. Samuel waini

    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.

    1. 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.

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