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Man wants law barring non-degree holders from presidency scrapped

A man has moved to the Kerugoya High Court challenging the law that bars anyone without a university degree from contesting for the presidency.

Mr Ngacha Karani, popularly known for fighting for the rights of former freedom fighters, has filed an application seeking to have the law be declared null and void.

He is intending to vie for presidential seat as an independent candidate in the August 8 elections and has asked the court to certify the matter as urgent.

Through lawyer Gacheche wa Miano, Mr Karani argues that unless the matter is heard and concluded urgently he and members of the Wanjiku Awareness Forum may be locked of the polls.

Mr Karani said as a registered voter in Kenya, he has a right to contest for any political seat as provided for in the Constitution.

“I’m lawfully entitled to enjoy all rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and other statutory provisions including [the] right to participate in all aspects of [a] general election,” he argues in his affidavit.

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

He said that his fundamental rights and freedoms have been contravened by the provisions of Section 22 of the Elections Act No.24 of 2011.

Mr Karani also said that members of the Forum who want to run for governorship in various counties and they have not attained a degree are already disqualified by that law.

He contested for the presidency in 2002 and 2007.

However, his presidential bid in 2013 was thwarted after the degree law was enforced.

Mr Karani said his fate and that of that of his organisation lies with the court.

Justice Lucy Gitari gave all the respondents cited in the civil suit seven days to file their replying affidavit so that the hearing of the petition can start.

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