Omari further avers that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the academic year 2020 which has also played a significant role in hampering and frustrating the academic progression of so many Kenyans who had hoped to graduate with a university degree by the year 2022.
He argues that this Covid-19 factor was never within the contemplation of the legislature when the impugned section of the law was enacted.
Sheria Mtaani further argues that failure for most persons to achieve a university degree in the current Kenyan context is also arguably a result of the high poverty levels which have bedevilled this country since independence as the government and the constitution only makes free, mandatory and accessible basic education.
They also claim that the impugned section of the Elections Act flows from a flawed assumption that persons possessing a university degree form better leaders as compared to persons without a university degree which test fails the constitutional threshold under Article 24 of the Constitution.
“In any event, elected leaders have the liberty of employing persons with special skills to help them fulfil their agenda or purpose in office,” they argue.
According to court documents, the constitution provides for recall clauses for citizens to call to question and remove their leaders should their elected leaders fail the leadership test which provision offers Kenyans with an opportunity to experiment and choose persons of their liking regardless of their academic qualifications.
Already, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has drafted a bill to amend Section 22 of the Elections Act to remove the requirement of an academic degree for those seeking to run for MPs and MCAs.
The Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission this month announced that the requirement will be mandatory for all aspirants in next year’s general election.
Previously, only the president, his deputy, governors and their deputies were required to be holders of at least a bachelors degree certificate.
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati made the announcement much to the chagrin of many aspirants. The requirement could dim the political careers of many.
However, Murkomen seeks to have the requirement scrapped.
His Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2021 will be introduced in the Senate for first reading next month when the lawmakers resume plenary sessions after a month-long recess.
In the proposed amendment, Murkomen wants anyone who is able to read and write in English or Swahili language or, in the case of a person who is deaf, is literate in the Kenya sign language.