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Qualifications for a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) 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. There is no maximum age limit.

Requirements for the position of a Member of the County Assembly

A party candidate, an independent candidate, or their authorised 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.

The candidate or their agent 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 authorised 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 delivering a nomination application should at the same time deliver to the Constituency Returning Officer, standard A4 sheets of paper bearing the names, respective signatures and identity card numbers of five hundred voters registered in the ward, by a date set aside by IEBC.

The sheets of paper delivered above should—

  • be serially numbered;
  • each have at the top, in typescript, the wording at the top of Form 18; and
  • be accompanied by copies of the identity cards of the voters

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

An application for nomination for candidature at a county assembly member election should be accompanied by a non-refundable nomination fee, in banker’s draft (banker’s cheque) of—

  • KES 2,500 for special interest groups, that is, the youth, women and persons with disabilities. Youth means an adult below the age of 35 years;
  • KES 5,000 for any other candidate.

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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.@GithinjiKE

170 thoughts on “Qualifications for a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) in Kenya

  1. Fredrick magondu

    Currently, I’m a university student and I will finish my bachelor’s degree next year but graduation will take place before I graduate in 2022. Can I vie?

    1. You should contact the IEBC to inquire about that.

  2. Ferdinand Baraka

    I want to register myself as an MCA of a certain ward but not as an independent candidate. I want to register with a party what should I do?

    1. Visit the regional offices of your political party of choice and register as a member. You can also call the head offices for more information.

  3. John Ndungu

    Hi, what of the MCAs who loose in the elections but get nominated, how does that happen?

    1. If they are members of a party or a coalition of parties with the most members or second most members in the Assembly, then the party or coalition of parties can opt to nominate them to fill the 12 nomination open positions on behalf of their party or coalition of parties.

  4. Denis Adera

    Was the law raising the level of education for an MCA aspirant amended? As per today, what are the educational qualifications for an MCA seat?

    1. Parliament refused to pass the law. There are no defined academic qualifications at the moment, but to be on the safe side, try to have a post-secondary education if you can.

  5. Erick ndung'u

    Must I have cleared ELB loan in order to view in 2022 since I’m gonna finish in 2024?

    1. You might be asked for HELB clearance certificate to vie for this position. But it is better you write to IEBC to seek further clarification.

  6. Peter kirui

    Is there a calendar of events for candidates just before the elections?

    1. Yes. Just make sure you follow IEBC on all social media platforms to be notified when those events happen.

  7. adan

    Currently, I’m a student at a certain university. I’m intrested in being an MCA in 2022 onward. But I haven’t voted before. Can I run for that seat? Thanks.

    1. Yes, you can, but make sure you register as a voter (in the area you want to vie) just to be safe.

  8. matika michael

    I’m interested in being an MCA. Can you email me more details?

    1. I cannot email you more details because I am not sure what else you want. Kindly be specific.

  9. Arthur kabila

    I’m a form two drop out. Can I vie for the MCA seat?

    1. There are no minimum academic qualifications for the seat at the moment. But it is better you complete your studies and even seek a post-secondary certificate in case the requirements change in future.

  10. Wanjala george

    I’m a form leaver interested to vie for MCA position. What can I do to achieve it?

    1. You need to follow the guidelines mentioned above. If you can, get a post-secondary education in case the educational requirements change in future.

  11. dennis juma

    Which certificate of education is needed?

    1. I don’t think there is any at the moment. But a Post-Secondary education is preferable.

  12. James Karanja

    I’m currently in the Middle East (Qatar) and I’m interested in vying for the mca seat in my homeward. Is it allowed? Or must I be in the country? Can I use someone to register me at the IBC office since I plan to vie as an independent candidate?

    1. You can get your authorised agent to handle most of the processes, but it is most likely you need to be in the country (at least six months before, I guess) to coordinate most of the things, including collecting signatures and campaigning. Write to IEBC on social media or email for clarification.

  13. John Ngala

    Must you get clearance from CRB, KRA or HELB in case you want to run for a political seat such as MCA or MP?

    1. Yes. Some of the requirements call for it, e.g in party nominations.

  14. Collins Juma

    Thank you. I’m a student of a certain college and I would like to vie for the MCA seat 2022, what can I do?

    1. This post gives you some insights.

  15. Mwanasiti Hassan

    One must have a diploma certificate to stand for the MCA sit or even a high school certificate.

    1. Not at the moment, but it might be in future.

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