Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) were formerly known as councilors or kanjola depending on where one came from or on the pronunciation level of one’s teacher of English at the primary school level.
After the promulgation of the new constitution which brought into being the birth of 47 Counties, Kanjolas were baptized and renamed MCAs (Members of County Assembly), a position that is now manufacturing overnight village millionaires.
The position of an MCA has become so powerful that it is now a do or die game at the grassroots level as the next General Election fast approach with many people going for the position.
Many people want to be MCAs, not because they want to serve the people but because of the goodies that the position comes with mostly in terms of salaries, allowances and ‘side-hustles’.
With a salary of more than 300,000 shillings and with powers to impeach a Governor as well as dictate what should and should not be implemented, MCAs have become the small power gods of the counties with many governors worshipping them and eating from their palms.
People say, I Kenya, at the moment, if you want to become rich, apart from taking part in the looting of public funds, just be an MCA, blackmail a Governor by threatening to impeach him and then name your price. It is no wonder some nominated Members of Parliament want to be MCAs with a certain nominated senator from one of the counties in Nyanza planning to be an MCA.
What the Constitution says:
If you want to become an MCA, however, you must adhere to some guidelines outlined in the Constitution of Kenya.
According to Article 193 of the Kenyan Constitution under the Qualifications to be elected as a Member of County Assembly:
(1) Unless disqualified under clause (2), a person is eligible for election as a member of a county assembly if the person–
(a) is registered as a voter;
(b) satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by this Constitution or an Act of Parliament; and
(c) is either–
(i) nominated by a political party; or
(ii) an independent candidate supported by at least five hundred registered voters in the ward concerned.
(2) A person is disqualified from being elected a member of a county assembly if the person–
(a) is a State officer or other public officer, other than a member of the county assembly;
(b) has, at any time within the five years immediately before the date of election, held office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission;
(c) has not been a citizen of Kenya for at least the ten years immediately preceding the date of election;
(d) is of unsound mind;
(e) is an undischarged bankrupt;
(f) is serving a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months; or
(g) has been found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a State office or public office or to have contravened Chapter Six.
(3) A person is not disqualified under clause (2) unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision has been exhausted.