Kenya: Women Rights' Group Wants Parliament Dissolved Amid Constitutional Review Process

28 February 2021

Nairobi — The National Women's Steering Committee has called for the dissolution of Parliament saying it is not illegal and therefore cannot participate in the constitutional amendment process under the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Daisy Amdany, Executive Director of CRAWN Trust Kenya said the coalition of women rights organization have little confidence on Parliament and moreso its committees due to its failure to meet 2/3 gender rule.

"As things stand, the legitimacy of parliament to transact any business is in question due to the dissolution order for the failure to implement the constitutional 2/3 gender rule," she told journalists.

"We believe that what needs to be done is for parliament to be dissolved and a national inclusive discussion be initiated on a structured response to the nation's crisis and debt management situation," she added

Amdany specifically decried a lack of focus on the entire national leadership and the debt situation which has worsened amid increased expenditure at all levels of governance.

"It's unfortunate that as the country grapples with negative consequences of burden, the politicians are busy focused on mutilating our nascent constitution and running unnecessary campaign to find discourse that divides people," the statement read in part.

The group, therefore, wants the government to put in place measures that promote the productivity of all Kenyans, develop a debt suspension plan and come up with a viable debt repayment plan.

"Kenyans need to come together and begin the journey to repaid and safeguard the country from eventual collapse, we are also calling on women of Kenya to support this call," the committee noted.

Former Chief Justice David Maraga had previously asked 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.

In his advice, Maraga said he is acting following six petitions filed in pursuant to Article 261 (7) of the Constitution.

"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."

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