National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has broken his silence on Chief Justice David Maraga’s calls to have Parliament dissolved over failure to enact the two-thirds gender rule.
Addressing the matter, Muturi termed CJ Maraga’s petition to have the two houses dissolved as an unwarranted attack adding that the petition is very unrealistic.
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“We must not lose sight of the real challenges in implementing this matter and turn Parliament into a punching bag on account of gender parity.
“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,” Speaker Muturi said.
The Speaker also proposed that the issue of two-thirds gender rule should be subjected to a referendum over the cost of implementing it.
“Given the current efforts and initiatives to amend the Constitution that are currently underway such as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), the issue on two-thirds gender rule can be subjected to a referendum in the event the same happens,” he said.
“Owing to the cost implications of implementing the two-thirds gender rule through other mechanisms such as nomination and topping up, it is prudent if the matter were to be subjected to the people once more for a reevaluation or to propose ways of achieving two-thirds gender rule,” he added.
On Monday, September 21, Maraga advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament over the continued violation of the two thirds gender representation rule.
Maraga said Parliament’s failure to enact a law to operationalize the constitutional provision amount to an act of impunity.
“It is incontestable that Parliament has not complied with the High Court order, As such, for over 9 year now, Parliament has not enacted the legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule which, as the court of Appeal observed in its said judgement, it is clear testimony of Parliament’s lackadaisical attitude and conduct in this matter.
“Consequently, it is my constitutional duty to advise Your Excellency to dissolve Parliament under Article 261 (7) of the Constitution,” a letter addressed to Uhuru read.
The Chief Justice said he was in receipt of five petitions asking him to render the advice on dissolution of Parliament.
“There is no doubt that the dissolution of Parliament will cause inconvenience and even economic hardship. The fact that Kenya is in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic only exacerbated the potential impact of the decision.
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“Yet that is a clear result Kenyans desired for Parliament’s failure to enact legislation they deemed necessary . We must never forget that more often than not, there is no gain with pain,” said the Chief Justice.
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