AUGUST ELECTION

Are educated politicians better than uneducated?

In Summary

• The candidacy of Johnson Sakaja for Nairobi Governor has focused attention on educational qualifications

• Have more educated politicians performed better than less educated ones in Kenya and in the wider world?

Johnson Sakaja has been approved to stand by the IEBC but his opponents claim that his degree certificate from a Ugandan university is not genuine.

This furore raises fundamental questions about what educational qualifications should be required for Kenya politicians.

The law states that candidates for senator and governor must have a degree. But is this overkill?

Many politicians have dodgy educational qualifications, often from weird foreign universities. That raises the question of whether Sakaja is being unfairly singled out.

Other leaders have superlative qualifications from top universities. But it is not clear that they have done better than the less educated in running their counties or constituencies.

Education is good, which is why we all pursue it. But it should not be the only yardstick to judge an electoral candidate, and nor should it be the way to exclude candidates.

Voters are intelligent, they can see who will make a good leader or a bad leader, irrespective of their education.

It is time for a fundamental review of the law to determine what educational qualifications, if any, are appropriate for political leaders from MCA right up to the President.

Quote of the day: “There is a higher law than the law of government. That's the law of conscience.”

Stokely Carmichael
The Trinidadian-American activist was born on June 29, 1941

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