Opinion

Degree helps but leadership comes first

Degree helps but leadership comes first

Some Kiambu MCAs during a past graduation at Mt Kenya University.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The reminder by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati that all contestants in the next General Election must be degree holders is his duty.

But the debate needs to be holistic. Each one of the six elective posts bear different weight. Education is good. However, we should divorce formal education from African leadership.

Thousands of exceptional leaders in various organisations do not even have an O-Level certificate. I don’t envision a situation where a university graduate who has a good job in the city would wish to engage in village politics. Besides, a degree holder may not have the patience to deal with the pettiness of a Kenyan voter.

If one can read and write and comprehend what is said or written by others, they are fit for political office. If the degree requirement is actualised for MCAs, I bet some wards will not have one or will be represented remotely.

Mahindo Njoki, Kiambu

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Deputy President William Ruto’s opposition to the requirement for political aspirants to have a degree should be supported by all Kenyans. Similarly, Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen’s bill seeking to reverse it should be passed.

Leadership is innate; one does not need a degree to articulate political skills and wisdom. Some of the prominent personalities — such as former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Daniel arap Moi, Shariff Nassir and Ezekiel Barng’etuny – had the best leadership qualities yet they did not have a degree.

Education should never be a scale for leadership. Some of the elites are arrogant, dictatorial and suffer a superiority complex.

Damson Opiyo Onger, Kisumu

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If elected leaders must have degrees, then it should be in courses related to government and leadership. Besides, even Cabinet secretaries should have academic qualifications that coincide with their particular fields. That will bring about a more sound leadership, sober decisions and informed planning. Leadership would be a career, with people studying for a degree to vie for a seat. Others will forge academic documents.

James Mugambi, Nairobi

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A degree will be of great importance in leadership. First, legislative matters would be debated more deeply and intelligently.

Secondly, leaders are the role models of the people. When they are properly educated, the spirit of education would be inculcated in society. Educated leaders will drive the country to achieve its vision. Kenyans will also be generally highly educated.

Unesco ranked Equatorial Guinea top in Africa in the literacy index of 2020, followed closely by South Africa.

Saphina Osano, Kisumu