Inside Politics

Law to bar ‘political freelancing’ in county positions

Thursday, April 21st, 2022 00:40 | By
Jubilee Party SG Jeremiah Kioni PHOTO/Courtesy
Jubilee Party SG Jeremiah Kioni PHOTO/Courtesy

People seeking nomination for special seats in the 47 county assemblies will have to be registered voters in those counties — if a new Bill is enacted into law. 

Elections (Amendment) Bill 2021 seeks to amend section 34 (8) of the Act to promote local solutions to local issues in counties.

The Bill is now before the Senate awaiting passage after members of the National Assembly approved it last week. 

Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni, who is the sponsor of the Bill, said there is a need for nomination slots in county assemblies to be filled by people who are registered voters. 

“A person shall not be nominated by a political party unless the person is, on the date of submission of the party list by the political party, a registered voter in any of the Wards in the county,” reads the Bill as adopted by the National Assembly. 

Kioni insisted that thosewho are not registered voters in their specific counties have no business being nominated to slots in county assemblies. 

According to him, counties have unique issues and thus their nominations should be different from those for Senate and National Assembly.  “We do not want to encourage political freelancing in county assemblies that has been with us for close to 10 years,” said Kioni. 

He added: “Nominating individuals, other than the party’s registered members in a county, demotivates the bonafide members”.

Since the 2013 General Election, some 770 positions have been reserved as special seats for Members of County Assembly (MCAs) across the 47 counties. 

This figure is on top of the 1,450 MCAs elected directly by people in the Wards. 

Currently, anyone can be nominated in any of the 47 county assemblies provided that the sponsoring political party has indicated as such in the party list submitted to the electoral commission. 

Article 177 (1) (b) of the Constitution provides that a county assembly comprises the number of special seat members necessary to ensure that no more than two-thirds of the membership are of the same gender. 

The Elections Act states that a person qualifies for nomination to a county assembly if the person is a member of a political party on the date of submission of the party list. 

Section 35 of the Elections Act provides that a political party shall submit its party list to the IEBC at least 45 days before the date of the General Election. 

This means that registered political parties have until June 25 this year to submit their party list to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.


A party list submitted to the IEBC shall also not be open for amendment during the term of parliament or the county assembly for which the candidates are elected. 

The law further demands that the party list prioritizes a person with disability, the youth and any other candidate representing a marginalized group. 

Nomination is based on the strength of the number of elected members a political party has in the Senate, National Assembly or the 47 county assemblies.

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