Pokot leaders oppose IEBC’s academic requirements

Simon Kachapin
West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin. [Photo/Courtesy]

Leaders from West Pokot County have opposed the proposal by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) requiring Members of Parliament to have a degree as a qualification to vie for the seat.

The leaders said that the move will lock out potential and competent leaders from contesting for the position.

Led by West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin, the leaders termed the proposal as harsh saying the electoral body should not enforce the proposal in the 2017 General Elections.

“We want IEBC to stop the proposal and put up a more conducive requirement that will see leaders who have been endorsed by the people to be elected even if they do not possess degrees,” he said.

“I know of leaders with high education qualities but behave like people who have not been to school. Leadership is about wisdom and integrity.”

Although he welcomed the idea of minimum educational requirements, he said it should not be used to lock out politicians who have no degrees. He said better modalities should be applied to see to it that those without degrees also get a chance.

Kachapin, a former school principal, said the people at the grassroots would want leaders who are in touch with them.

He argued that the requirement will also lock out poor Kenyans who cannot afford higher education from the leadership platform.

“We should allow our leadership to grow with our situation. Democracy will not grow if Kenyans cannot choose their favorite leaders,” he said.

Masol Ward Member of County Assembly Ariong’o Lopurna said the law will bar many leaders from the marginalised areas.

He said majority of leaders from pastoral communities are elected on the basis of their character and not education since most of them could access education in the past.

“Most of us will be barred from leadership if this law is implemented .We want IEBC to consider marginalised areas before its implementation,” he said.

The leaders, however, welcomed International Criminal Court (ICC) ruling on the case facing Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua arap Sang.

Kachapin said the move will see the two Kenyans set free since the cases have been weakened by the ruling thus promoting national cohesion and healing ahead of the general election.

 By Collins Shitiabayi

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