Ex-governors shouldn’t vie for MP, or MCA seats

After serving the maximum of two five-year terms as governors, which is allowed by the Constitution, those convinced they still have more to offer may feel shortchanged if denied a chance to vie again.

However, this is what the Constitution stipulates and if they feel that they still feel they can do more, they should go and do it elsewhere. However, it is only logical that the next step should not be lower than the position of county boss, which is politically higher than the office of senator.

It is more logical that one should aspire for a higher position or retire.

It does not make sense for them to downgrade themselves by seeking the MP or MCA positions. However, some have already done so and failed to get elected, which is quite embarrassing. After a high-profile county job, it is in bad taste to give oneself such a huge demotion.

But some former governors are unhappy about a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to bar them from vying as MPs or MCAs within five years after ceasing to be county bosses. The draft Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2023 by Nominated Senator Raphael Chimera could sort out the apparent anomaly.

The Senator wants Article 99 of the Constitution amended by inserting a new paragraph that reads: “A person is disqualified from being elected MP if the person is a county governor or has at any time within the five years immediately preceding the date of election, held office as a county governor.”

Former governors serving as Senators have opposed the Bill, terming it unconstitutional. They are entitled to their opinion, as this is a democratic country.

However, it would make even more sense to bar former governors from being elected as senators. It is the Senate that exercises an oversight role over counties. Should their tenures come under scrutiny, it will be very uncomfortable.

Also, governors might want to become senators to use that position to protect themselves from being sanctioned by the Senate. This country is not short of qualified people to vie for the governor, MP or MCA positions.