Many Kenyans do not know the role of a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) yet their presence in government is indispensable and diverse.
The role of an MCA in Kenya is essential.They are a key component of the county governments and sustain the counties’ existence.
Several public surveys indicate that Kenyans interact with their MCAs the most compared to other elected representatives.
This means that the public’s trust and confidence in MCAs is high.
Role of a MCA in Kenya
An MCA should represent the people from his or her ward in the county government just like an MP represents the people of his or her constituency in the National Assembly.
The County Governments Act stipulates the role of the Members of the County Assembly under Section 9.
The major role of the Members of the County Assembly is:
According to Section 9, they:
- Maintain close contact with the electorate and consult them on
issues before or under discussion in the county assembly;
- Present views, opinions and proposals of the electorate to the
- Attend sessions of the county assembly and its committees;
- Provide a linkage between the county assembly and the electorate
on public service delivery; and
- Extend professional knowledge, experience or specialised
knowledge to any issue for discussion in the county assembly.
An MCA shall not:
- Executive functions of the county government and its administration;
- Deliver services as if the member were an officer or employee of
the county government.
This is according to Section 9(2) of the County Government Act of 2012.
Qualifications for Election as MCA in Kenya- Article 193
(1) 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.
Disqualifications for Election as MCA in Kenya- Article 193
As stipulated in Article 193(2) of the Constitution, one is disqualified from being elected as MCA 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.
Removal of an MCA in Kenya
The electorate in a county ward may recall their MCA before the end of the term of the member on any of the following grounds:
- If the member is found, after due process of the law, to have violated the provisions of Chapter Six of the Constitution
- Mismanaging public resources;
- If the member is convicted of an offence under the Elections Act, 2011.
However, the removal is guided by certain conditions:
- Only initiated by a judgment of the High Court
- Should be initiated 24 months after the election
- It cannot be filed against a member more than once
- A person who unsuccessfully contested in the election cannot initiate this petition- Section 27(1)-(6) of The County Government Act