The MCA seat has become a hot cake in the Kenyan political scene, attracting the highest number of contestants in every general election.
The young and old all want a piece of the MCA seat.
The competition is usually stiff because those declared winners defeat their closest competitors with a few votes.
Those who lose in the competition have another shot at making it to the county assembly as nominated MCAs, but even then, only a few are selected.
This brings us to today’s topic; how does one become a nominated Member of the County Assembly?
Read on to find out and for more information on the requirements, roles, salary, benefits, and more.
Who is a Nominated MCA?
A nominated MCA is an individual fronted by a political party to join the county assembly membership without going through the electoral process.
It is a direct ticket to the county assembly, but the nominees must meet several constitutional requirements to qualify.
A nominated MCA can be a youth, a woman, or a person with a disability.
The main reason for nominating MCAs is to bridge the gender gap and facilitate fair inclusion of the youth and persons with disabilities in the county assembly.
How is the Nomination of MCA Done?
The process of nominating MCAs is not easy because sometimes it causes mayhem in different political parties due to issues like favoritism, where deserving parties are not prioritized.
Such cases manifested themselves in the recent general election, where both Azimio and Kenya Kwanza camps were marred with allegations of favoring lovers, relatives, and friends at the expense of deserving individuals like those with disabilities.
According to IEBC, the MCA nomination slots should prioritize persons with disabilities, women to address gender parity, and the youth.
However, political parties are not keen to observe the selection criteria as they use the opportunity to reward their cronies, friends, and campaign funders.
Doing so leaves the most-deserving parties frustrated.
The number of nomination slots awarded to each party is determined by the number of their elected members in the County assembly.
The more elected MCAs a political party has, the more the number of nomination slots.
Nominated MCA Requirements/Qualifications
One has to meet a set of constitutional requirements under Article 177 (1) (b) and (c) for them to earn a nomination in the county assembly.
These are the requirements:
Roles of Nominated MCA
Nominated MCAs have equal roles and privileges as their elected counterparts.
Before delving into their mandates, it is crucial to understand that nominated MCAs mainly represent electorates based on the criteria used to nominate them.
For example, a disabled nominated MCA is expected to be a voice of disabled persons in the county, same for nominated women and youth.
Besides that, their roles remain similar to their elected counterparts as outlined by the constitution. They are as follows:
- Attend all county assembly and committee sessions
- Act as a link between the electorate and county assembly in matters of public service delivery
- Give opinions and present proposals on behalf of the voters to the county assembly
- Keep close connection with the voters and involve them on issues to be or being discussed in the county assembly
- Extend knowledge and experience on matters being discussed or to be addressed in the county assembly
- Not be involved in executive functions of the county assembly directly or indirectly as if they were an employee of the county assembly.
Salary of Nominated MCAs
The general perception is that nominated MCAs earn less than elected MCAs.
The truth is that they earn parallel salaries because they perform the same roles.
The only difference is how they got into the county assembly.
Nominated MCAs, therefore, make a basic monthly wage of Ksh. 86,625.
They receive an average monthly gross salary of Ksh. 144,375 after adding a monthly house allowance of Ksh. 45,000 and a market adjustment of Ksh. 12,750.
The MCA’s initial gross pay amounted to Ksh. 365,000 but has since been revised and adjusted by the Salaries and Remuneration Committee.
It is also worth noting that the MCA salary is consistent across all counties.
However, the county assembly speaker, and majority and minority leaders, who are also MCAs, may earn a little more because of their additional house roles.
The same case applies to nominated MCAs serving in different county assembly committees.
Nominated vs. Elected MCA
It is common for people to compare nominated and elected MCAs as to who holds more water or is more powerful.
Nominated and elected members of the county assembly are meant to serve the electorates’ interests.
They are given equal opportunities and resources in dispensing their roles.
However, the elected MCA has the upper hand because they are closer to the electorates who voted for them, making it easier to seek re-election after delivering in their wards.
On the other hand, nominated MCAs may have to work harder to convince electorates to elect them into office after five years of serving in the background.
For that reason, nominated MCAs have to work extra hard during their time in the county assembly to gain the trust of the electorates.
To some extent, the elected MCA has the enormous burden of being accountable to the voters.
They are directly answerable to the voters, and failure to fulfill their manifestos can cost them a second term in office.
Becoming a nominated MCA is not a process for the faint-hearted, even for the most qualified, unless you associate with a diligent political party that follows due process when nominating members to the county assembly.
The dice do not stop rolling after being nominated as an MCA because such opportunities do not come twice.
You need to work to make a name for yourself the next time you will be facing the electorate for their votes when seeking an elective post.