(i) Whether the consolidated petitions are res-judicata:
38.As I dealt with this issue before and I have not changed my position on the same, I will reiterate what I previously stated.
39.The doctrine of res-judicata is a jurisdictional issue. It goes to the root of a dispute and must be considered at the earliest opportunity.
41.In our municipal laws, the doctrine of res-judicata is codified in section 7 the Civil Procedure Act, cap 21 of the Laws of Kenya. It provides as follows: -
42.The doctrine of res judicata is not novel in our courts. It is a subject which Superior Courts have sufficiently expressed themselves on. For instance, the Supreme Court in Petition 14, 14A, 14B & 14C of 2014 (Consolidated) Communications Commission of Kenya & 5 others v Royal Media Services Limited & 5 others  eKLR delimited the operation of the doctrine of res-judicata in the following terms;(317)The concept of res judicata operates to prevent causes of action, or issues from being relitigated once they have been determined on the merits. It encompasses limits upon both issues and claims, and the issues that may be raised in subsequent proceedings. In this case, the High Court relied on “issue estoppel”, to bar the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents’ claims. Issue estoppel prevents a party who previously litigated a claim (and lost), from taking a second bite at the cherry. This is a long-standing common law doctrine for bringing finality to the process of litigation; for avoiding multiplicities of proceedings; and for the protection of the integrity of the administration of justice? all in the cause of fairness in the settlement of disputes.(318)This concept is incorporated in section 7 of the Civil Procedure Act (cap 21, Laws of Kenya) which prohibits a court from trying any issue which has been substantially in issue in an earlier suit. It thus provides:(319)There are conditions to the application of the doctrine of res judicata: (i) the issue in the first suit must have been decided by a competent court; (ii) the matter in dispute in the former suit between the parties must be directly or substantially in dispute between the parties in the suit where the doctrine is pleaded as a bar; and (iii) the parties in the former suit should be the same parties, or parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the same title Karia & another v Attorney General & others,  1 EA 83, 89.(320)So, in the instant case, the argument concerning res judicata can only succeed when it is established that the issue brought before a court is essentially the same as another one already satisfactorily decided, before a competent court.(333)We find that the petition at the High Court had sought to relitigate an issue already determined by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Tribunal. Instead of contesting the Tribunal’s decision through the prescribed route of judicial review at the High Court, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents instituted fresh proceedings, two years later, to challenge a decision on facts and issues finally determined. This strategy, we would observe, constitutes the very mischief that the common law doctrine of “issue estoppel” is meant to forestall. Issue estoppel “prevents a party from using an institutional detour to attack the validity of an order by seeking a different result from a different forum, rather than through the designated appellate or judicial review route” (Workers’ Compensation Board v Figliola  3 SCR 422, 438 (paragraph 28)).(334)Whatever mode the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents adopted in couching their prayers, it is plain to us, they were challenging the decision of the Tribunal, in the High Court. It is a typical case that puts the courts on guard, against litigants attempting to sidestep the doctrine of “issue estoppel”, by appending new causes of action to their grievance, while pursuing the very same case they lost previously. In Omondi v National Bank of Kenya Ltd & others,  EA 177 the Court held that “parties cannot evade the doctrine of res judicata by merely adding other parties or causes of action in a subsequent suit.”(352)The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in Thomas v The Attorney-General of Trinidad and Tobago,  LRC (Const) 1001 held that “when a plaintiff seeks to litigate the same issue a second time relying on fresh propositions in law he can only do so if he can demonstrate that special circumstances exist for displacing the normal rules.” That court relied on a case decided by the Supreme Court of India, Daryao & others v The State of UP & others, (1961) 1 SCR 574 to find that the existence of a constitutional remedy does not affect the application of the principle of res judicata. The Indian court also rejected the notion that res judicata could not apply to petitions seeking redress with respect to an infringement of fundamental rights. Gajendragadkar J stated:(353)Kenya’s High Court recently pronounced itself on the issue of the applicability of res judicata in constitutional claims. In Okiya Omtatah Okoiti & another v Attorney General & 6 others, High Court Const. and Human Rights Division, Petition No 593 of 2013  eKLR, Lenaola J (at paragraph 64) thus stated:Whereas these principles have generally been applied liberally in civil suits, the same cannot be said of their application in constitutional matters. I say so because, in my view, the principle of res judicata can and should only be invoked in constitutional matters in the clearest of cases and where a party is relitigating the same matter before the Constitutional Court and where the court is called upon to redetermine an issue between the same parties and on the same subject matter. While therefore the principle is a principle of law of wide application, therefore it must be sparingly invoked in rights-based litigation and the reason is obvious.(354)On the basis of such principles evolved in case law, it is plain to us that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents were relitigating the denial to them of a BSD licence, and were asking the High Court to redetermine this issue.(355)However, notwithstanding our findings based on the common law principles of estoppel and res- judicata, we remain keenly aware that the Constitution of 2010 has elevated the process of judicial review to a pedestal that transcends the technicalities of common law. By clothing their grievance as a constitutional question, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents were seeking the intervention of the High Court in the firm belief that, their fundamental right had been violated by a state organ.Indeed, this is what must have informed the Court of Appeal’s view to the effect that the appellants (respondents herein) were entitled to approach the Court and have their grievance resolved on the basis of articles 22 and 23 of the Constitution.
48.I will in turn consider the substratum of each of the said decisions and their ratio decidendi and pitch them against principles as set out by superior courts for the operation of the bar of res-judicata.
50.At the centre of the dispute was the petitioners’ contention that sections 3(1), 22(1)(b), 22(2), 23(1)(b), 24(1)(b), 25(1)(b) and 26(1) of the Elections Act were unconstitutional for limiting the number of people who can vie for leadership positions to those who have post-secondary qualifications, ethical and moral attributes introducing being discriminatory and promoting inequity
51.The petitioners in the said case submitted that the set out various provisions of the Elections Act violated the provisions of article 10, 27 and 38 by providing that only persons with post-secondary qualifications can vie for elective office.
52.The respondents opposed the petition on the basis that the provisions of The Elections Act derived their legitimacy and validity from articles 99(1)(b), 180(2), 193(1)(b), 193(2)(g) and chapter 6 of the Constitution and as such the court had no jurisdiction to interfere with the constitutional discretion conferred on the legislature to enact legislation and stipulate the educational threshold to be met by persons seeking to be elected to various offices under the Constitution.
53.The Learned Judge, in appreciating the sovereign power of the people and the exercise of such power by the legislature in making laws, gave socio-economic context in which Elections Act was enacted and within which it is to operate. The learned judge made reference to the Final Report of the Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review dated October 11, 2010, at paragraph 7.5.2, where the Committee noted that the people of Kenya had expressed the desire for there to be a statement on the educational qualifications of Members of Parliament. She the observed as follows;
54.The learned judge, however, gave a rider on the exercise of legislative authority and made the following remarks: -
55.In making a finding on constitutionality of section 22(1)(b), which qualifies a person for nomination as a candidate if that person holds a post-secondary school qualification recognized in Kenya, the learned judge made comprehensive comparative analysis on what constitutes discrimination and stated as follows:
56.On whether section 22(1)(b) bears a rational connection to a legitimate purpose, and, whether it can be justified under limitations provision of the Constitution, the Learned Judge opined that the section fails on both accounts. She observed that:
57.In the end, the court allowed the petition and declared the then section 22(1) unconstitutional. The decision was rendered on 29th June 2012. That decision was not appealed against.
60.At the heart of the dispute was the allegation that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (hereinafter referred to as ‘the IEBC’) had violated the fundamental rights and freedoms of candidates who were desirous of contesting presidential, parliamentary or county elections as independent candidates on account of the nomination requirements it set, which the petitioner claimed were unconstitutional and violated articles 27 and 38 of the Constitution.
61.There were two main issues which were deciphered by the learned judge for consideration. They were the educational qualifications for nomination as Members of Parliament and the constitutionality of section 24(1) of the Elections Act and regulations 16, 18 and 19 thereof.
62.In making an assessment of the constitutionality of section 24(1) of the Elections Act, the provision that sets qualification for nomination as a Member of Parliament as against the provisions of articles 27 and 38 of the Constitution on the right to equality and political rights, the learned judge, with particular reference to article 81 of the Constitution that establishes the general principles of an electoral system observed as follows: -
63.The learned judge went further to compare the wording of section 24(1) of the Elections Act to that of article 99(1) of the Constitution and found that the former was a replica of the Constitution. As such, a declaration of its unconstitutionality would essentially be a declaration that the Constitution itself was unconstitutional, a finding that cannot be made by any court of law. He observed as follows: -
65.The decision was appealed against to the Court of Appeal. In dismissing the appeal, the learned judges of Appeal held that “…the standards in regards to education qualifications for leaders seeking positions of power and responsibility cannot be discriminatory as it cuts across parties and those who do not qualify have an opportunity to seek first of all to attain the qualifications before vying for the offices.’ The appellate decision was delivered on 22nd day of November, 2019.
66.Later, on January 30, 2017, section 22 of the Elections Act was further amended through Elections Laws (Amendment) Act No 1 of 2017 to provide for university degree qualification as a precondition to nomination for election and for political party lists for Members of Parliament and Members of County Assembly.
68.In the case, the petitioners sought to have the court declare that under the Constitution, the only educational eligibility requirements which Parliament can impose on candidates for election as Members of County Assembly, Member of Parliament, Governor, or President is the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education or its equivalent, and/or proficiency in spoken and written English or Kiswahili.
70.Upon comparing the factual matrix of the two decisions, the learned judge, (Korir J) found that the two earlier decisions of Lenaola J (as he then was) and Ngugi LJ (as she then was), were centrally on constitutionality of section 22(1)(b) of the Elections Act regarding educational qualifications of candidates for elective political offices. He observed that the issue had been considered and determined previously by courts of coordinate jurisdiction and could not be reopened. For certainty, this what the court remarked in declining jurisdiction: -22.I, therefore, hold and find that the issue of educational qualifications in regard to the candidates for elective political offices has been put to rest by courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction. The matter has also been settled by the Court of Appeal. The issue cannot be reopened again before this court.28.It is only important to note that the issue of educational qualifications for those contesting political offices is no longer an issue available for determination by this court. That leaves me with the issue of the constitutionality of section 43 of the Elections Act, 2011.
74.The now issues in the consolidated petitions were non-existent before 2017. It can only be illogical to sustain an argument that the non-existent matter was settled way before it arose. The only forum which presented itself for a possible adjudication of the issues raised in the consolidated Petitions was the case in Okiya Omtatah Okoiti & another v Attorney General & Another case (supra). However, the court declined jurisdiction and the matter was not fully and finally determined.
75.Having found so, by juxtaposing the legal and decisional jurisprudence on res judicata against the consolidated petitions, it is the finding of this court that the consolidated petitions are not res judicata.
76.The first issue is, hence, answered in the negative. I will now turn to the second issue.
ii. Whether the consolidated petitions are caught up by the ripeness doctrine:
77.This court also discussed this issue at length in County Assembly Forum & 6 others v Attorney General & 2 others; Senate of the Republic of Kenya (Interested Party) case (supra). A replica discussion follows under.
78.The Ripeness doctrine is one facet of the larger principle of non-justiciability. It is a jurisdictional issue that bars a court from considering a dispute whose resolution has not crystallized enough as to warrant court’s intervention. Its operation is informed by the idea that there exist other fora with the capacity to resolve the dispute other than court process.
79.The operation of the doctrine was discussed by a multi-judge bench of the High Court in Nairobi Constitutional Petition No 254 of 2019, Kiriro wa Ngugi & 19 others v Attorney General & 2 others  eKLR in the following manner: -107.The doctrine focuses on the time when a dispute is presented for adjudication. The Black’s Law Dictionary 10th Edition, [supra] at page 1524 defines ripeness as:108.Courts should therefore frown upon disputes that are hypothetical, premature or academic which have not fully matured into justiciable controversies.The Court of Appeal in National Assembly of Kenya & another v Institute for Social Accountability & 6 others Nairobi Civil Appeal 92 of 2015  eKLR, faulted the Constitutional Court for adjudicating upon hypothetical matters. The court held:(72)The broad questions which were raised in the consolidated petitions, namely, – division of functions, powers and authority; the equitable sharing of revenue of national government, whether the Amendment Bill concerned county government and the role of the Senate in the legislative process, are questions which relate to inter-governmental relations and which should have been raised by either government in the appropriate forum and in case of a dispute such a dispute should have been resolved by the designated institutions through the prescribed mechanism. This is one peculiar case where the Constitution stipulates that a dispute should be in essence be resolved by other institutions through a prescribed mechanism before the jurisdiction of the High Court can be invoked.(74)Furthermore, questions such as division of functions, division of revenue, legislative process and budget process are essentially political questions which fall within the political question doctrine; and which the Constitution has assigned to other political institutions for resolution and created institutions and mechanisms for such resolution.
110.In National Assembly of Kenya & another v The Institute for Social Accountability & 6 others [supra] the Court of Appeal held:(73)Since there was no actual live dispute between the national and county governments about CDF and if any, the mechanisms for resolving such disputes was not employed, the questions which were brought to High Court for determination had not reached constitutional ripeness for adjudication by the court. In reality, TISA and CEDGG invented a hypothetical dispute which was brought to court in the guise of unconstitutionality of CDFA.
111.In Wanjiru Gikonyo & 2 others v National Assembly of Kenya & 4 others Nairobi Constitutional Petition No 453 of 2015  eKLR, Onguto J stated:(27)Effectively, the justiciability dogma prohibits the court from entertaining hypothetical or academic interest cases…….The court is prevented from determining an issue when it is too early or is simply out of apprehension, hence the principle of ripeness. An issue before court must be ripe, through a factual matrix for determination.
80.It is the respondents’ contention that parliament had received the public petitions challenging the constitutionality of section 22(1)(b)(i) of the Elections Act and that it was in the process of considering them. The court was informed that the Senate had already passed an amendment repealing the impugned provision and that the matter was pending consideration before the National Assembly. As such, it was not ripe for this court to exercise its jurisdiction during the pendency of the process before Parliament.
81.Mr. Wambulwa, counsel for the 3rd and 4th respondents submitted that there are Election (Amendment Bill) No42 of 2021 and Election (Amendment Bill) No 43 of 2021 both which seek to repeal the impugned provision. He indicated that it was imperative to allow Parliament to discharge its duty and that a court cannot legislate on behalf of Parliament as the Public Petitions seek similar redress as the petitioners in the consolidated petitions.
82.Counsel further submitted that since the High Court has residuary power over the legislations passed by Parliament, then it is imperative that Parliament be allowed to act first.
83.The question that begs for an answer is whether the public petitions presented before Parliament concerning the constitutionality of section 22(1)(b)(i) of the Elections Act can competently address the fundamental rights and freedoms of the petitioners herein as to render the consolidated petitions herein not ripe for consideration.
84.In determining this contention, I will first resort to article 119 of the Constitution which provision was heavily relied upon by the 3rd respondent in its argument aforesaid. It provides as follows: -119.Right to petition Parliament(1)Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including to enact, amend or repeal any legislation.(2)Parliament shall make provision for the procedure for the exercise of this right.
85.The National Assembly is part of the Parliament of Kenya. Its primary function is codified in articles 94 and 95 of the Constitution. It largely provides that the National Assembly exercises legislative authority on behalf of the people. Under article 95, its role is to represent the people of the constituencies and special interests in the National Assembly, deliberate on and resolve issues of concern to the people and enacts legislation in accordance with part 4 of chapter 8.
86.There has been judicial discussion as to whether courts have jurisdiction over matters which are subject of pending petitions before Parliament. In Petition 381 & 430 of 2014 (Consolidated) Council of Governors & 3 others v Senate & 53 others  eKLR the court dismissed the argument that courts did not have such jurisdiction. The learned judges referred to an earlier decision in The Council of Governors & others v Senate Petition No 413 of 2014 and made the following emphatic remarks: -
88.I am in agreement with the above. I, however, wish to add that the power of Parliament under article 119 of the Constitution to enact, amend or repeal any legislation is not in any way curtailed by the High Court’s exercise of its jurisdiction under article 165(3) of the Constitution. Whereas Parliament has the preserve to enact, amend or repeal any legislation, courts have the duty to ensure that Parliament inter alia keeps within the constitutional borders while discharging its mandate. That is where the difference lies. As such, the court’s exercise of its jurisdiction in determining whether Parliament acted within the Constitution in coming up with the impugned law cannot be seen as an affront to the doctrine of separation of powers. The two are distinct mandates under the Constitution.
89.In this case, the petitioners contend that the National Assembly in passing the amendment that resulted to the impugned section 22(1)(b)(ii) of the Elections Act did not act within the Constitution. That is very different from the Parliament’s power to reconsider and possibly amend or repeal the impugned provision. In any event, there is no proposition that the decision of Parliament on the Public Petitions is binding on this court. Needless to say, courts must remain vigilant and cautious when wading through such waters and ensure that the courts do not infringe upon the doctrine of separation of powers.
90.Having said so, this court finds that the contention that the consolidated petitions are caught up by the doctrine of ripeness fails and is hereby dismissed.
90.I will now proceed on to consider the third issue.
iv. Whether section 22(1)(b)(i) of the Elections Act offends articles 24, 27, 38(2), 55 and 56 of the Constitution:
102.At the heart of the consolidated petitions is the impugned provision. The entire section 22 provides as follows: -
103.It was vehemently submitted that the effect of the impugned provision is to limit several rights and fundamental freedoms in ways which are not in tandem with the limitations in article 24 of the Constitution.
104.A careful consideration of the impugned provision against the various constitutional provisions as argued by the petitioners, reveal that the impugned provision is a limitation to the political rights under article 38(3) of the Constitution. As a result, such a limitation must, in the first instance, pass the constitutional muster in article 24 of the Constitution.
105.In the course of the legal discourse, I will not lose sight of the principles of constitutional and statutory interpretation discussed in the preceding issue and to the words of the Supreme Court in In the Matter of the Speaker of the Senate & another case (supra) that the dominant perception at the time of constitution-making was that such the deconcentration of powers would open up the scope for political self-fulfilment, through an enlarged scheme of actual participation in governance mechanisms by the people – thus giving more fulfilment to the concept of democracy. I will also be guided by the three tests discussed in R v Oakes as captured in Petition No. E327 of 2020 Law Society of Kenya v Attorney General & another (2021) eKLR.
106.Turning back to article 24 of the Constitution and due to its centrality in this discussion, I will reproduce it verbatim and as follows: -
107.According to the Constitution, it is not wrong for a statute to limit a right or fundamental freedom. However, what stands out is the requirement that the limitation must pass the test in article 24. In other words, a permissible limitation must be reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom. In determining whether a statute passes such a test, the Constitution provides several factors to be considered. Some of them are captured in article 24(1).
108.The petitioners variously argued that the limitation imposed by the impugned provision fail the tests in article 24 of the Constitution since it is not reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom. In doing so, they gave some examples. I will only recap some of them. There was the issue that according to the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census Report (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Report’) only 1.2 Million Kenyans held university degrees. That translated to 3.5% of the entire Kenyan population. Out of the 1.2Million university graduates, 25% of them are in Nairobi County. The balance is shared between the rest of the 46 counties.
109.The Report also pointed out there were no university graduates in the entire Mt Elgon sub-county as well as Kakamega Forest sub-county; which sub-counties under the current political governance structure are constituencies to be represented in Parliament.
110.The Report is part of the evidence in the consolidated Petitions. That Report is not in any way controverted neither is there any other contradictory evidence. Since the Report is a public document and which remain uncontested, I will, in accordance with Part IV of the Evidence Act, cap 80 of the Laws of Kenya adopt it as admissible evidence.
111.With such uncontroverted evidence, it is clear that the impugned provision will have adverse effects on the representation of the people at the constituency level. Indeed, unless the contrary is proved, which at the moment is not, the impugned provision has the effect of rendering some sub-counties without representation in Parliament.
112.There was also the issue of the failure to recognise other relevant qualifications and experiences which can be equated to convectional degrees. It was argued that the Kenya National Qualifications Framework Act, No 22 of 2014 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the National Qualifications Act’) is aimed at recognising and awarding qualifications otherwise gained from the convectional formal training.
113.The respondents did not, once again, make any responses to the argument. That notwithstanding, I will, nevertheless, deal with the matter.
115.Section 3 thereof gives the guiding principles of the national framework as follows: -
116.The objects of the National Qualifications Act are stated in section 4 thereof as follows: -(a)establish the Kenya National Qualifications Authority;(b)establish standards for recognising qualifications obtained in Kenya and outside Kenya;(c)develop a system of competence, life-long learning and attainment of national qualifications;(d)align the qualifications obtained in Kenya with the global benchmarks in order to promote national and trans-national mobility of workers;(e)strengthen the national quality assurance systems for national qualifications; and(f)facilitate mobility and progression within education, training and career paths.
117.Section 6 of the National Qualifications Act establishes the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Authority’). Its functions are provided for in section 8 as follows:(a)co-ordinate and supervise the development of policies on national qualifications;(b)develop a framework for the development of an accreditation system on qualifications;(c)develop a system for assessment of national qualifications;(d)develop and review interrelationships and linkages across national qualifications in consultation with stakeholders, relevant institutions and agencies;(e)maintain a national database of national qualifications;(f)publish manuals, codes and guidelines on national qualifications;(g)advise and support any person, body or institution which is responsible for the award of national qualifications;(h)publish an annual report on the status of national qualifications;(i)set standards and benchmarks for qualifications and competencies including skills, knowledge, attitudes and values;(j)define the levels of qualifications and competencies;(k)provide for the recognition of attainment or competencies including skills, knowledge, attitudes and values;(l)facilitate linkages, credit transfers and exemptions and a vertical and horizontal mobility at all levels to enable entry, re-entry and exit; and(m)conduct research on equalization of qualifications;(n)establish standards for harmonization and recognition of national and foreign qualifications;(o)build confidence in the national qualifications system that contributes to the national economy;(p)provide pathways that support the development and maintenance of flexible access to qualifications;(q)promote the recognition of national qualifications internationally; and(r)perform such other functions as may be provided under this Act.
118.The above provisions reveal the position that the law recognises other modes of qualifications further to the convectional ones. The law establishes the manner in which relevant qualifications may be awarded to a person. There is no doubt that such qualifications may, in appropriate instances, be equated to convectional degrees. There is, therefore, a law which attains the same purpose as the impugned provision.
119.The danger posed by the impugned provision is that it tends to disregard any other qualification, but for a university degree. It, therefore, renders the provisions of the National Qualifications Act inapplicable in the election of Members of Parliament.
120.To me, the National Qualifications Act accords a less restrictive means to achieve the very purpose aimed at by the impugned provision. The National Qualifications Act does not constrict the number of those who may contest for the positions of Members of Parliament to convectional degrees’ holders, but widens the cage to a holder of any other relevant qualification. The National Qualifications Act recognises the truism that a person may, through other qualifications, attain an equivalent of a university degree.
122.Closely related to the above discussion is the cost of attaining university degrees. It was posited that apart from free primary education, the cost of the rest of the educational pursuits in Kenya are borne by the parties undertaking such pursuits. It was further posited that since it costs a considerable amount of money to acquire a degree qualification in Kenya, such costs are way beyond the ability of many Kenyans.
123.It was further argued that the State is yet to have a 100% transition from secondary schools to the universities. According to the Report, it was argued that only 16% of the students who sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE), transit to the university. The rest, 84%, have to find other forms of training and qualifications.
124.The petitioners, therefore, view the impugned provision as an unfair means of securing the positions of Members of Parliament to a smaller clique of wealthy people.
125.Once again, the respondents did not make any response to the said argument.
126.Although the petitioners did not state the average cost of obtaining a degree qualification in Kenya, there is no doubt that there is such a cost and that the cost is not within the reach of the majority of Kenyans. The prevailing situation which this court takes judicial notice of is that most Kenyans are literary surviving from hand to mouth with the wealthy few increasing their insatiable appetite for more by the day.
127.Subjecting all the candidates for the positions of Members of Parliament to a minimum of university degrees at once, therefore, highly prejudices the rights and fundamental freedoms of those who are not able to directly acquire the university degrees.
128.There was a further argument on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the university education. It was submitted that the said pandemic interfered with the university academic programmes such that there are those students who were graduate before 2022, but for the pandemic. If such a group of persons is to be left out on account of the impugned provision, then they stand unfairly discriminated against and yet the effects of the pandemic were way far beyond the world’s control. A case at hand was the 1st petitioner who was to graduate, but for the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
129.Again, there was no response to the contestation.
130.There is no doubt that such a class of university students will stand discriminated if the impugned provision stands.
131.I believe I have so far captured the heart of the rival positions. At this point, I must echo the words of the Learned Judge in Johnson Muthama v Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs & another case (supra) to the effect that as Parliament discharges its legislative responsibility its focus must also be on the ethical standards of those seeking public offices and not only on educational pursuits.
132.Having said so, it, therefore, comes out that the impugned provision does not augur well with several constitutional provisions. For instance, it does not pass the test of limitation in article 24 of the Constitution. The impugned provision is, hence, an affront to the Constitution.
133.Further, the impugned provision offends article 27 of the Constitution to the extent that it, unfairly and without justification, discriminates on the basis of educational qualifications. It also fails to treat every person equal before the law. I say so in view of the position that whereas the law recognises equivalent qualifications, the impugned provision outrightly disregards that and firmly settles for only convectional university degrees. The impugned provision also fails to take into account the category of the people who, while already admitted into the university, cannot graduate before 2022 as a result of the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
134.Article 38(3) of the Constitution is also infringed to the extent that the impugned provision places unreasonable restrictions to the exercise of political rights. I have already demonstrated that there exists legislation that accords a less restrictive means to achieve the very purpose aimed at by the impugned provision.
135.The impugned provision likewise failed to take into account the dictates in article 56 of the Constitution regarding the rights of the minority and marginalised groups.
136.In sum, therefore, the impugned provision contravenes articles 24, 27, 38(3) and 56 of the Constitution.
137.As I come to the end of this issue, it must be clear that I am not fronting the position that university educational qualifications or their equivalent are not necessary for those seeking the candidature of Members of Parliament, not at all!
138.The reality is that Kenya is a member of the international community and has so far taken several steps and programmes in attaining some of the globally agreed standards. Such include the effort in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as political rights through various initiatives including, but not limited to, execution of international covenants. Therefore, a time is soon catching up with us when the dictates of global demands and trends will make a university degree qualification or its equivalent an inevitable necessity in every elective position.
139.However, at the moment, I do not think that the impugned provision was well thought out. To equate the academic qualifications of all elective positions in Kenya at par, without any differentiation, without regard to the different attending responsibilities and by disregarding the different remuneration and benefits, the impugned provision runs contra several provisions of the Constitution.
140.There is, therefore, the need for the impugned provision to be relooked at, at least with a view of taking into account the need for differentiated qualifications and in keeping with the prevailing and targeted social, economic and educational realities in Kenya.
v. Whether there was adequate public participation in the enactment of section 22(1)(b)(i) of the Elections Act:
141.Participation of the people is a national value and principle of governance that was introduced in Kenya by article 10 of the Constitution. The said article provides as follows: -(1)The national values and principles of governance in this article bind all state organs, State officers, public officers and all persons whenever any of them––(a)applies or interprets this Constitution;(b)enacts, applies or interprets any law; or(c)makes or implements public policy decisions.(2)The national values and principles of governance include––(a)patriotism, national unity, sharing and devolution of power, the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people;(b)human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality,(c)good governance, integrity, transparency and accountability; and(d)sustainable development.
142.In Petitions 210 & 214 of 2019 (Consolidated), Simon Mbugua & another v Central Bank of Kenya & 2 others  eKLR a three-judge bench defined public participation, and in reference to a South African decision, spoke to its significance in the new constitutional dispensation in the following manner: -
128.The Black’s Law Dictionary 10th Edition, Thomas Reuters, at page 1294 defines participation as “the act of taking part in something, such as partnership….”. The South African Constitutional Court in Doctors for Life International v Speaker of the National Assembly and others (CCT12/05)  ZACC 11; 2006 (12) BCLR 1399 (CC); 2006 (6) SA 416 (CC) defined public participation as follows:
129.The centrality of public participation was underscored in Matatiele Municipality v President of the Republic of South Africa (2) (CCT73/05A) quoted with approval by the Court of Appeals of Quebec, Canada, in Caron v R 20 QAC 45  RJQ 2333 thus:
130.Locally, the High Court in Mui Coal Basin Local Community & 15 others v Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy & 17 others Machakos, High Court Constitutional Petition 305 of 2012, 34 of 2013 & 12 of 2014  eKLR developed the following six principles to be taken into account whenever the application of the doctrine of public participation comes into issue:
146.In the consolidated petitions, all the respondents as well as the interested party did not seriously contest the claim that there was no public participation in the process towards the enactment of section 22(1)(b)(ii) of the Elections Act. However, the 3rd and 4th respondents contended that on receipt of the Bill, the same was committed to the Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs and that the Committee called for and received memoranda from the National Gender and Equality Commission, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Kenya Law Reform Commission and Centre for Multi-Party Democracy.
147.As comprehensively set out in the decisions referred to above and as provided for under article 10 of the Constitution, public participation is an irreducible minimum in the process of enacting any legislation. Parliament must always strictly adhere to the requirement of and carry out adequate public participation for any of its legislations to gain legitimacy.
148.I must add that for Parliament to have come up with an enactment in the nature of the impugned provision, there was need for elaborate and comprehensive public participation and stakeholder engagement. There was need for Parliament to consider national statistics, to consult with experts in devolution and educational matters and to generally be alive to the truism that the impugned provision must always be in tandem with the various realities in Kenya. Parliament was then to balance all that with the right to representation. Unfortunately, Parliament chose to ignore all that and the Senate only received presentations from some few entities which in any case the manner of invitation was not disclosed.
149.Given the appalling state of affairs, I find and hold that there was no meaningful public participation towards the enactment of section 22(1)(b)(i) of the Elections Act.
150.In sum, the impugned provision falls short of the constitutional requirement under article 10(2)(a) of the Constitution.