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President’s age limit ruling out in 60 days

A parliamentary commitee will in 60 days decide whether to cap the presidential age at 70 and alter terms of elected leaders.

The committee inquiring into the petitions yesterday said it will table a report either endorsing or rejecting the proposals for debate in the National Assembly.

Petitioner Mohamed Sheikh, a Wajir resident, told the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee capping the president’s age at 70 will save Kenyans from electing “ineffective heads of state who suffer from memory loss”.

“If the Constitution provides that a judge should retire at 70, there is some wisdom in it that one at this age cannot be the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces also. If we subject a judge to age limit, why wouldn’t the President follow suit?” he told the committee chaired by William Cheptumo (Baringo North).



Sheikh, a Masters student in Strategic Management at Moi University, argued 70 year-olds live on a “borrowed lifespan” which is associated with health complications.

Cheptumo, however, told the petitioner to give his opinion on the recent move by Malaysians to elect a 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad as their president.

“Our political system is different from Malasyia, hence we should not compare with it. Kenya is also more democratic,” Sheikh responded.

Another petitioner Ezekiel Njeru, an Embu county resident, told the committee approving his petition seeking to stagger five elective seats will save the country from divisive elections.

He proposed the scrapping of the Woman Representative position.

Njeru, a personal assistant to an Embu MCA, wants the term of the President and members of county assemblies reduced to four yours from the current five and their elections held on the same day.

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