Connect with us

General

MPs’ CVs reveal most educated and least schooled

Published

on

Loading...


At least a third of MPs lack bachelor’s degrees. Details that have been made public show a peculiar mad dash for post-secondary qualifications between 2012 and 2017.

This means that up to 116 MPs have either a diploma or a certificate.

The academic qualifications of the 349 members of the National Assembly published on Parliament’s official website show some lawmakers with certificates enrolled for and graduated with bachelor’s degrees.

The law that required MPs to have a degree was shelved in 2017 and will come into force in 2022.

The law proposed by the electoral commission and passed in 2016 required aspirants for MP and Senate seats in 2017 to have a degree, just like their governor counterparts.

It also proposed that MCA aspirants hold a diploma to run in the 2017 election and a degree for the 2022 polls.

Currently the law requires the President, deputy president, governors and deputy governors to hold a degree but is silent on the other elective seats.

In 2016 the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution said in its final report that MCAs’ low academic qualifications were to blame for the poor laws they made.

The details published for the first time yesterday show most MPs bypassed acquiring a diploma and enrolled for degree courses in overseas universities with questionable reputations.

Before they were sworn in, MPs were asked to provide their CVs to enable Parliament establish a database of their qualifications. This was seen as a bold step by MPs to open up for public scrutiny.

The data, aimed at enabling voters to know their leaders, show some lawmakers who finished high school in the early 1990s developed a sudden appetite for higher education in the run-up to the last two general elections.

According to the data, about 10 lawmakers are enrolled for PhD courses, while most are pursuing their master’s degrees.

Read: Top politicians with ‘questionable’ academic papers

Former Kenyatta University don Prof Zadoc Ogutu (Bomachoge Boragu), Siaya woman representative Christine Ombaka, Nandi’s Tecla Tum, Tigania West MP Mutunga Kanyutha, Kitui Central MP Makau Mulu, Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo and Migori woman representative Pamela Ochieng are among the few MPs with PhDs.

Malulu Injendi (Malava), Korei ole Lemein (Narok South) and Wilson Kipngetich (Chesumei) are pursuing PhD degrees.

Ruiru MP Kingara Ngang’a, nominated MP Ibrahim Sahal and Kajiado woman representative Teyia Janet are among the MPs with certificates.

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, Jane Wanjuki of Embu, Alfa Miruka of Bomachoge Chache and Geoffrey Omuse of Teso South hold diplomas.

Most of the certificates were acquired in the run-up to the 2013 and 2017 general elections, when most aspirants faced the possibility of being locked out by the IEBC for lack of academic papers.

Loading...

Most politicians enrolled in local colleges and some universities in Uganda.

The IEBC, then led by Issack Hassan, had drafted far-reaching proposals to raise the bar of qualifications for aspiring lawmakers. However the push was foiled in Parliament, paving the way for non-graduates to run for election.

The IEBC proposal followed concerns over the low quality of legislation that was being churned out by Parliament, with governance experts arguing that better academic grades would enhance lawmakers’ capacity.

Proponents of higher qualifications for MPs argued that MPs without relatively higher qualifications would not have the requisite intellectual capacity to go about their legislative, oversight and representation roles.

Read: [VIDEO] MPs seek to push back degree condition to 2022

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had in 2011 made sweeping proposals to the Elections Act to make it mandatory for MPs and MCAs to have degrees in the 2013 general election.

However, MPs successfully lobbied then President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to suspend the enactment of the law until after the 11th Parliament.

MPs in the tenth Parliament changed the law at the last minute before going to the polls and lowered the academic requirements, exempting candidates for both Houses of Parliament and county assemblies from holding degrees.

Some of them were serving their third term but had not gone past secondary school or primary school.

Then Minority Whip Thomas Mwadeghu argued that MPs needed higher qualifications to be effective in performing their roles.

“As the country develops, it would be good to have MPs who are more conversant with complex issues, who have a wide scope of world affairs. I don’t know any other way of achieving this but the intention is not to cast aspersion on anybody,” he said after claims emerged that some long-serving members argued they would be disadvantaged.

The provision was dropped and MPs and MCAs were only required to produce any post-secondary certificate earned after studying for at least three months.

In the run-up to the 2017 polls, MPs voted to provide for a transitional clause in the Elections Act to make it mandatory for those seeking the positions in 2022 to have degrees.

During the special sitting in December 2016 Majority leader Aden Duale said the new amendments would give members at least five years to go back to school.

MPs passed the amendment without any debate. They amended the law to also make it mandatory for aspirants for member of county assembly (MCA) to hold degrees.

Read: IEBC proposes degrees for MPs, diplomas for MCAs in 2017 poll

Click here for the latest political news

 

 

 

 

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

What you need to know about the Juja by-election

Published

on

Loading...

The late Juja MP Francis Waititu aka Wakapee.

The Juja parliamentary seat became vacant after MP Francis Waititu succumbed to brain cancer on February 22, 2021 at MP Shah Hospital.
Waititu was elected on a Jubilee ticket during the 2017 General Election. He garnered 66,190 votes.
According to IEBC, Juja constituency has 114,761 registered voters.
The 2017 General Election had an 80 per cent voter turn-out which saw 91,801 Kenyans casting their votes in the region.  
The by-election
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, voters in the Juja constituency will head to the polls to elect their next member of parliament.
A total of eleven candidates will square it out in the mini poll.

Loading...

Jubilee Party By-election Juja MP Nominee Susan Njeri Waititu during certificate issuance at the Party’s Headquarters in Nairobi on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Main contenders

Take a quick survey and help us improve our website!
Take a survey

1. Waititu Susan Njeri – Jubilee Party
2. Ndung’u George Koimburi – Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP)
Others:
3. Mwangi Kariuki Chege – Independent
4. Kagera Eunice Wanjiru – The New Democrats (TND)
5. Kariuki Joseph Gichui –  Independent
6. Kariuki Rashid Iregi –  Independent
7. Marungo James Kariuki – Independent
8. Mburu John Njoroge – People’s Party of Kenya (PPK)
9. Ndung’u Antony Kirori – Maendeleo Chap Chap Party (MCCP)
10. Ndung’u Kennedy Gachuma – National Liberal Party (NLP)
11. Zulu Julius Thiong’o – Independent

 

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

19-year-old boy charged with defiling girl three years younger

Published

on

Loading...

[Courtesy]

Loading...

A 19-year-old teenager is in trouble with authorities for allegedly defiling a 16-year-old girl.
Tyson Ongaki has been charged before a Kisumu Chief Magistrate’s court and accused of intentionally defiling the minor on various dates. The crime was allegedly committed in Bomet.
The teenager who appeared before Chief Magistrate Peter Gesora however denied the offence and has been released on a Sh100,000 bond.
The court heard that after committing the offense on diverse dates between March 26, 2021 and May 14, 2021, the teenager moved to Kisumu.
He has also been charged with committing an indecent act with a minor.
An investigating officer handling the matter told the court that the suspect was arrested in Kisumu.
The magistrate directed that the matter be heard on June 15, 2021.

Take a quick survey and help us improve our website!
Take a survey

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

KRA must ease tax filing to boost revenues

Published

on

Loading...

Nikhil Hira Independent tax consultant and Director Bowmans Coulson Harney (law firm). [Courtesy]

Anyone who has been following Kenya’s budgets over the last few years will recall headlines each year saying that the country has set its largest-ever budget. 
The upcoming 2021/22 fiscal year is no exception, with Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani announcing a budget of Sh3.6 trillion – yes, the biggest ever! A little over Sh2 trillion will come from government revenues, with approximately Sh1.8 trillion of this from tax revenues. 
The balance will be borrowed – another common feature of the last few years. 
This year’s budget comes amidst an economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the inherent assumption that the pandemic will come to an end before the start of the next financial year. 
Given surges in infections that are being seen globally, and indeed in Kenya, this assumption may well be the deal-breaker. 
The Ministry of Health has already said that Kenya may see another wave of infections in July, fuelled by the Indian variant. This could result in more lockdowns with the associated impact on the economy and indeed revenue collections. The lack of vaccines is an issue that the government must address as a matter of great urgency if the country is to get through the pandemic without further economic woes. 
While deficits in government budgets are not uncommon, Kenya seems to be annually widening the gap between expenditure and revenues. 
If one applies this model to their household budget, the upshot will almost certainly be bankruptcy. 

Take a quick survey and help us improve our website!
Take a survey

Loading...

What is actually required is curtailing recurring government expenditures, which is something that the government has acknowledged in the past with proposed austerity measures. 
The reality is that Kenya has not succeeded in doing this, and the pressure on revenue collection is exacerbated. 
When you add to the high level of wastage and corruption we are witnessing, the deficit will almost certainly continue to widen. 
The responsibility for tax collection and enforcement lies with the Kenya Revenue Authority better (KRA). 
There is no doubt that the authority has improved significantly in this task since it was set up in 1995. 
The taxman estimates that 4.4 million tax returns were filed by June 30 last year, up from 3.6 million in the previous year.  While this is a significant improvement, when compared to the country’s population, this number of returns seems unusually low. 
The increase in the number of tax returns, is to a large extent, due to the online reporting system, iTax, and a major push by KRA through taxpayer education.
There is no doubt that the online system has made filing tax returns significantly easier and gone are the large queues of people witnessed at Times Tower on deadline day. 
That said, there is still much to be done to make filing returns a seamless and painless exercise. 
System downtime during filing periods is something that all of us will have experienced, although, in typical Kenyan fashion, we inevitably wait until the last day to file our returns as we do with most things! 
The spreadsheet that one uses to file a return is by no means the simplest to use.  One key issue seems to be that taxpayers are not alerted to changes in the model until they try to upload a return. 
The spreadsheet does not allow one to make it more relevant to their sources of income – in essence, it is too rigid and inflexible. KRA should be able to rectify this without too much effort.
Last year was unusual in that different rates of tax were applicable in the first quarter as compared to the rest of the year.  This followed the Covid-19 relief measures that were introduced in April 2020. 
There was much debate about whether the changes were meant to apply for the whole year or whether some form of apportionment was needed. 
In the end, the decision was made for apportionment. One can argue about what the correct treatment should be, but the issue was how long it took for the decision to be made and, indeed, to amend the iTax system. 
The age-old notion has always been that the more complex and difficult it is to file a tax return, the more likely it will be that taxpayers simply won’t file their returns. While the issue with the system has been resolved, there is an inherent administrative issue here that must be addressed. 
KRA has to be significantly more proactive in dealing with changes in rates and law to ensure the least inconvenience to taxpayers. 
The writer, Nikhil Hira, is the Director of Bowmans Kenya.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Bowmans Kenya  

Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending