Kenya: Muturi Fights Back After CJ Tells Kenyatta to Dissolve Parliament

22 September 2020

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said Tuesday that the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) will seek redress at the High Court following Chief Justice David Maraga's recommendation for President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament.

CJ Maraga said Monday that it was his duty to give the advice to the President, in line with Article 261(7) of the Constitution, as MPs have failed to enact legislation on the two-thirds gender rule, 10 years after they were supposed to.

He described the failure by Parliament to enact the law, that says no elected and appointed position should have more than two-thirds representation from one gender, as a form of impunity that can only be cured by sending the MPs home.

Lawyers instructed

In his response to the move, Speaker Muturi told a press conference on Tuesday that the CJ's move was ill-advised, premature and unconstitutional.

“The action by the Chief Justice is a recipe for plunging this country into a constitutional crisis of monumental proportions never seen before,” he said after a meeting with PSC members.

Mr Muturi, who chairs the commission, also said he had instructed lawyers to proceed to the High Court to challenge the CJ's advice.

He addressed the press flanked by senators George Khaniri (Vihiga) and Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), and MPs Adan Keynan (Eldas), Ben Momanyi (Borabu) and Aisha Jumwa (Malindi).

Majority leader Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri) and majority whip Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) were also present.

Women's fight

Meanwhile, a section of women leaders says it will not relent in the push for 50-50 gender representation in government positions.

According to Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, the leaders are safeguarding gains made by women in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, which President Kenyatta launched on November 27, 2019.

“We are lobbying for the inclusion of women’s issues in the BBI agenda. We want to attain the two thirds gender rule but are still looking for 50-50 representation in the Senate and the National Assembly,” she said on Monday.

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