A section of women parliamentarians has backed Chief Justice David Maraga’s advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament over the continued violation of the two thirds gender representation rule.
Speaking in Maparasha, Kajiado County Monday, after attending Olng’esherr (a Maasai rite of passage ceremony), the women leaders said the decision to dissolve parliament was long overdue.
They commended the Chief Justice for upholding the constitution and the implementation of the law without fear adding that this will ensure he leaves a legacy when his term comes to an end.
Homabay MP Gladys Wanga said Maraga was standing on the right side of history for ensuring that all the provisions of the constitution were implemented.
She noted that it was unfortunate that ten years down the line, the only provision of the constitution that remains un-implemented was the two thirds gender rule.
Wanga noted that parliament had failed four times to pass the gender bill and if dissolving parliament was going to bring results then so be it.
“This is the reason why we as women are supporting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process. Parliament has failed to pass the gender bill four times, ten years later, the only provision of the constitution that remains un-implemented if the two thirds gender rule,” said Wanga.
Likoni MP Mishi Mboko reiterated Wanga’s remarks adding that Parliament must accept that it had failed as far as the two thirds gender rule was concerned.
She cited frustrations from their male counterparts in their attempts to adopt a legislation to enact the two thirds gender rule.
Kisumu Women Representative Rosa Buyu said there was no desire or wish greater than the constitution of Kenya and all its provisions must be implemented fully.
Buyu noted that the decision to dissolve parliament for failing to enact the 2/3 gender rule was timely as it was the only provision which was yet to be effected ten years down the line.
“This is the constitutional moment that we have been waiting for. There is no wish or desire greater than the constitution of Kenya. The constitution clearly gave timelines in which everything had to be effected yet ten years later it has not been passed” Said Buyu.
Former Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi emphasized that for the rule of law to be respected then the two thirds gender bill must be enacted as per the provisions of the constitution.
“Let parliament ensure that the two thirds gender rule is implemented or be dissolved. We are tired as women, of fighting for what is even clearly spelt out in the constitution. The rule of law must be respected,” said Elachi.
Kajiado East Legislator Peris Tobiko however noted that there were a lot of challenges and dynamics surrounding the two thirds gender rule and parliament should be given time to progressively implement it.
Tobiko said not many women were contesting for political seats and urged them to come out in large numbers to seek elective positions in the forthcoming 2022 general elections.
“It is very sad that parliament could not achieve the two thirds gender rule on time. However, Maraga should appreciate the dynamics and challenges women face. Women vie for elective seats. What we would urge is that parliament finds a way to progressively achieve the gender rule,” Said Tobiko.
Maraga on Monday asked President Kenyatta to dissolve parliament over the continued violation of the two thirds gender representation rule.
The Chief Justice said Parliament’s failure to enact a law to operationalize the constitutional provision amount to an act of impunity.
In an advisory dated September 21, Maraga said he was responding following six petitions seeking his advice on the matter.
“The petitions are based on the ground that despite four court orders compelling Parliament to enact the legislation, Parliament has blatantly failed, refused, or neglected to do so,” Maraga said.
The CJ said it was his constitutional duty to advise the president.