Chief Justice David Maraga has written to President Uhuru Kenyatta, asking him to dissolve Parliament for failing to enforce the two-thirds gender rule.
The six petitioners involved in the decision include Margret Toili, Fredrick Gichanga Mbugua'h, Steven Owoko, Aoko Bernard, David Sudi and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).CJ David Maraga speaking during the launch of the Nanyuki Law Courts on August 28, 2020.
"The petitions are based on the ground that, despite four Court orders compelling Parliament to enact the legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule in accordance with Article 27(3) read together with Articles 81(b) and 100 of the constitution, Parliament has blatantly failed, refused and/or neglected to do so.
"Your Excellency, "the two-thirds gender rule" is an acronym for the constitutional imperative which prohibits any form of discrimination in the appointive and elective positions in our country on the basis of one's gender," read Maraga's letter in part.
This comes after LSK asked Chief Justice David Maraga to write to the President to advise him on dissolving Parliament on grounds of the failure to enact the two-thirds gender rule.
LSK added that it was the duty of Parliament to ensure it legislates the outstanding laws and failure to do so continues to expand the fault lines for violations of the Constitution.
Maraga noted that the two years left for the 10th Parliament is not enough to enact the legislation required to effect the two-third gender rule.
The Chief Justice also added that the Supreme Court under former CJ Willy Mutunga had directed Parliament to enact the requisite legislation back in August 2015.
Currently, out of the 349 seats available in Parliament, only 76 members are female representing 1/5 of the total.
The Constitution, however, states that Parliament should at least have 117 female MPs, which means it falls short by 41 members.
The Maraga letter has drawn a number of reactions including from Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who also asked the President to dissolve parliament.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi responded to Maraga's calls to dissolve Parliament, terming the move as 'unrealistic'.
"The clamour for dissolution of the current Parliament on account of failure to enact the two-third gender legislation is at the very least, unrealistic," he noted.
Murang'a Senator Irungu Kangata on his part asked why Maraga did not give parliament a chance to be heard.
"CJ should have afforded Parliament an opportunity to be heard ,before him, prior to issuing the advisory.We would have brought to his attention a bill that's before Senate's Justice Committee on the matter.Also,Senate has adhered to 2/3 rule.Hence,why punish Senate?" asked Kangata.Chief Justice David Maraga during a court session in 2017.
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