A proposal by the IEBC that all candidates joining the race for women representatives pay a hefty Sh500,000 nomination fee each is, to say the least, ill-advised.
The proposal goes against the spirit and letter of the constitution which stipulates that each of the 47 counties reserves at least one seat for women. These women-only seats are expected to help in meeting the gender quota as well as encouraging the active participation of women in politics.
The IEBC proposal will not only bar majority of the women from presenting their candidature but is also discriminatory as only those women who have the financial muscle to pay the nomination fee will be able to run for office. This will perpetuate the misguided belief that politics is only for the moneyed few and that a public spirited individual without cash cannot be elected to office.
The reason for having the affirmative action clause in the constitution was to break with a past and present that gives the impression that politics is a male-only club. By proposing such a hefty nomination fee, the IEBC is encouraging he creation of yet another club - that of moneyed women! We urge the IEBC to drop the nomination fee requirement as far as elections for the women representatives are concerned.