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Dissolution of Parliament uncalled for


Chief Justice David Maraga has advised President Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for its failure to enact and pass two thirds gender rule pursuant to Article 81b of the Constitution. The Executive has severally failed to comply with the principles of the Constitution, rule of law and court rulings.

Chief Justice David Maraga. Photo/FILE


·         In today’s piece, this writer says that the electorate reserves the right to elect anyone be it a man or a woman

·         Mr Musyoka says Parliament should not be dissolved since the role of voting is vested on the voters not MPs and Senators

·         This week Chief Justice David Maraga advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failing to meet the 2/3 gender threshold as espoused in the constitution which marked a decade this year since promulgation

The president can assent the bill into law or decline to sign it pursuant to Article 116 (Presidential assent and referral).

Being a defender and a champion of the rule of law, constitution and someone who aspires to become a lawyer, I will first disagree with Chief Justice Maraga. I remember his quote after he nullified the presidential elections of 2017, “The greatness of any nation lies in its fidelity to the constitution, adherence to the law and above all, respect to God.”

There are several articles in the constitution I would like amended. Article 81 (General principles for the electoral system) specifically sub article b which states, “Not more than two thirds of the members of elective bodies shall be of the same gender”. This article is impossible to enact because the duty of electing leaders lies with the electorates.

Maybe the framers of our constitution realized two thirds gender rule cannot be enacted or implemented and introduced the post of women representative for each county. Political parties also nominated women as senators according to their proportion of members of the Senate (Article 98b). In this case, 16 women are nominated by their parties as senators.

I agree that men and women are equal. Article 26 (Equality and freedom from discrimination) states that every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law. Equality includes full and equal enjoyment of all rights and fundamental freedoms. Sub-article 3: women and men have the right to equal treatment including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, social and cultural spheres.

No woman is barred from running for elective office

Under the current constitution, no woman is barred from contesting any electoral seat. Women have same political rights as men. In the last general elections, some women were elected governors, senators and members of parliament. My governor Charity Ngilu is a woman. She was elected overwhelmingly where she defeated Dr Malombe who was the incumbent and Kitui Senator David Musila who was also Wiper chairperson.

Kirinyanga elected Ms Ann Waiguru and Bomet people vote in the late Joyce Laboso. We have senators like Susan Kihika, Margaret Kamar, Mishi Mboko, Millie Odhiambo and Aisha Jumwa who were elected as MPs.

This now begs the question, are these super women? If they made it, why not others? Germany and New Zealand are some of countries led by women. This tells you that here in Kenya a woman can vie and be elected as President.

The bottom line is this; only women politicians will make us achieve, enact and implement gender rule. They should be able to convince the electorate why they deserve to be elected and not their male counterparts. This should be based on ideas and plans in their manifestos.

But in a society which has subscribed to patriarchy, it is not a walk in the park for them. Me thinks CJ Maraga and petitioners should not blame Parliament for not implementing 2/3 gender rule. The decision lies solely with the electorates. Parliament has a duty to oversight the Executive and other institutions to ensure they comply with the gender rule in their appointments.

Therefore, CJ Maraga asking President to dissolve Parliament is uncalled for. We are only remaining with two years to have a general election. President Kenyatta is serving his final term and is barred from extending it by Article 142 (Term of president). He wants to cement and leave a formidable legacy. He need Parliament to govern.  He consults Parliament before he makes a decision because the Hose has a constitutional role of representation.

My unsolicited advice to H.E. President Uhuru is this: Do not dissolve Parliament. Decline that invitation.

The writer is a Fourth Year Political Science and Public Administration student at Kisii University.

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