By WAHOME THUKU
Muthama was technically locked out, nine months to the General Election, following a High Court ruling Friday holding that candidates for Governors’ seats should be university graduates.
The court upheld legal requirement that presidential candidates, their running mates, governors, and their deputies should possess degrees from recognised institutions.
But in a relief to thousands of parliamentary aspirants, Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi declared discriminatory the requirement that they should possess post-secondary school education to qualify as candidates. She ruled that the requirement as set out in the Elections Act was discriminatory.
The judge made a same ruling in regard to requirement that aspirants for civic seats should have post-secondary education.
Justice Ngugi made the ruling in a suit instituted by Muthama and others including former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile. Muthama and Ndile do not have university education. They wanted the court to declare that the requirement for post-secondary education and the degree certificates in all the circumstances was unconstitutional.
Several parliamentary aspirants including former Starehe MP Maina Kamanda and Makadara MP Gideon Mbuvi Sonko have enrolled in institutions to secure post-secondary education ahead of the elections. Two weeks ago, Parliament amended the Act to require that parliamentary aspirants, too, should be holders of degree certificates.
The amendment raised uproar among more than 80 MPs who realised too late that they had locked themselves out of the next elections because they don’t have university education.
The amendment was rejected by President Kibaki citing the Muthama case and others, but Parliament had abandoned the amendments all together. The President declined to assent to the Bill saying matters before a court should not be the subject of legislation by the National Assembly.