Watch-dog body, Transparency International (TI), on Saturday called on the national assembly to amend the law and raise the minimum academic qualifications required for candidates wishing to vie for the posts of Members of County Assembly (MCAs) in the next general election.
TI argued that county assemblies countrywide had been given a crucial and sensitive mandate by the constitution under devolution, and needed well educated individuals to brainstorm and formulate policies that would help develop counties develop.
Francis Kairu, TI’s Coast region coordinator, said counties needed mature people in the assemblies, able to understand and argue over complex issues about strategy and planning, and that people with low education risked killing devolution through incompetence.
“When parliament passed the law, it was only strict on governors who it required to have degrees, but members of parliament and MCAs were let free, and I think this is where we went wrong,” Kairu, told Baraka FM from Taita Taveta county.
“Education helps a person understand better and this is why we need to review these minimum qualifications.”
MCAs in sections of the country have been accused of lacking decorum in their mode of behaviour, and a few times ugly scenes of physical confrontations have been reported in assemblies, pointing towards an intellectual deficiency within the MCA fraternity.
Under-development in some counties despite huge budgetary allocations, has also been blamed on county assemblies’ inability to formulate and implement proper development policies.