Kenyans without university degrees are set to be barred from running for political positions in the 2022 General Election.
On Monday, IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said Section 22 of the Election Act, which requires aspirants for the six elective seats to be degree holders, will take effect next year.
The amended section of the act was set to be implemented in 2017 but was postponed to 2022 to allow candidates eying MP and MCA positions to acquire the required academic qualifications.
“We follow the law and the Election Act clearly state that all candidate in the six elective positions must have a university degree to able to qualify to run for office,” said Chebukati.
Chebukati, who spoke during the launch of IEBC Annual Voter Education Week at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, said the commission will collaborate with professional bodies to deal with cases of fake academic papers ahead of next year’s elections.
“We are in a country where cases of fake degree certificates are common and we have engagements with Kenya National Qualifications Authority and the Commission for University Education to verify academic certifications,” he added.
He said political contenders’ academic documents will be subjected to authentication before they are presented by the candidates to IEBC.
In the 2017 election, only presidential candidates and running mates as well as governors and their running mates were required to have degrees.
Some current MPs and MCAs who do not hold university degrees risk being barred from defending their seats.
Last year, County Assemblies Forum chairman Ndegwa Wahome vowed to opposed the implementation of the law.
“We have taken a very firm position that the sovereignty and power to elect belongs to the people under Article 1 of the Constitution. We have said section 22 of the Election Act is subsidiary to Article 1,” said Wahome.