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Qualifications for Members of County Assembly

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 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.

A university degree from a university recognised in Kenya is also a requirement in 2022 general elections according to Section 22 of the Elections Act (unless the law is amended before then).

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.

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 has 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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About githinji

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206 thoughts on “Qualifications for Members of County Assembly”

  1. What if you are a class 8 dropout, can you be able to vie for an MCA?

    Reply
  2. Thank you for this information. I will be vying for the MCA seat in 2022 for Kiteta/Kisau Ward in Mbooni Constituency.

    Reply
  3. I got a D plain and I want to vie for MCA seat. Is it possible with the grade?

    Reply
  4. How early am I supposed to register with the IEBC before the election if I want to vie for MCA?

    Reply
    • As mentioned, IEBC does provide dates for different requirements. So, you need to be alert and check their website, social media handles or the media for any updates.

      Reply
  5. I want to vie for the seat. With a B plain KCSE, a teaching and a computer certificate.

    Reply
  6. All MCAs should possess a recognized university degree because Kenya is dynamic. Soon there will be ward development fund, hence we need competent minds to handle weighty matters.

    Reply
  7. I want to vie for MCA in a ward where I don’t live and an aspirant who is also vying for the same seat is threatening me that they will chase me to where I was born to vie for mca there. What should I do? I think my life will be in danger during campaigns and election day.

    Reply
  8. Can I register online as a voter in a ward which is far from where I live and travel to vote during the voting day?

    Reply
    • You can register as a voter in another ward and travel there to vote during elections day. However, you would have to confirm with IEBC about online registration since I am not sure if it even exists.

      Reply
  9. If I have only KCSE and KCPE certs, am I eligible to vie as MCA? And what if I join a party of choice today, am I eligible to vie for an election scheduled anytime soon?

    Reply
    • You will need a degree in 2022 unless the requirements change before then. On your second question, your party of choice might provide more answers, so reach out to them.

      Reply
  10. Hello, I would like to know how you nominate Member Party…

    Reply
  11. When one has a D- in KCSE, would he or she qualify to be an MCA?

    Reply
  12. If you don’t have any qualification paper (I mean if you only get to s7) will anyone be able to vie for MCA?

    Reply
  13. Hello, I would like to know the educational requirements for this seat.

    Reply
  14. If you want to vie for an MCA position and your national ID shows you are from the different ward, for example, if your ID shows you are from Nairobi and you want to vie mCA in Mombasa in a certain ward, what will happen?

    Reply
    • You can still vie for the position, but make sure you are registered as a voter in that Ward (or transfer your voting location to that Ward).

      Reply

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