Legislators threaten to delete from law provision for advisory powers
By Mercy Mwai and Hillary Mageka
Senators and Members of the National Assembly yesterday expressed outrage over the advisory opinion by Chief Justice David Maraga asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve parliament over its failure to pass the two-thirds gender rule.
The legislators who spent the better part of the afternoon attacking Maraga vowed to marshal Kenyans to vote against the provisions during the much-touted referendum.
The legislators who were categorical that no one will force them to pass the gender rule termed the decision by the CJ as ill-advised, unacceptable and one that cannot be achieved.
At the National Assembly, leader of Majority Amos Kimunya, Leader of Minority John Mbadi, Minority Whip Junet Mohammed and MPs Aden Duale (Garrissa Township), Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), Adan Keynan (Eldas), Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) and Olago Aluoch (Kisumu West) said Maraga made the decisions without putting the interests of the country first.
Mohammed who started the debate in the National Assembly said that even if the house was going back for elections, the gender problem would never be cured.
“There are issues that I feel need to be raised, the CJ either ignored your recommendation or just wanted to drop a bombshell before he leaves. May be wants to run for the governor of Nyamira,” said Junet.
Hard to implement
Mbadi and Kimunya said that it will be hard for the country to implement the said principle even if parliament Is dissolved many times.
“This house is going nowhere, who is this mad person who is going to dissolve this parliament.
The only route is to go back to the people of the constitution. These drafters became mischievous because it was a hot potato and that is why they didn’t county assemblies,” said Mbadi.
Amolo questioned the fate of other institutions including the presidency and the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) who are all elected on the same day.
“I believe that although he has advised the president to dissolve the house, this advice should not be adopted because there are no timelines,” he said.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale who threatened to lead the house in
deleting the provision told Uhuru not to agree with the Chief Justice.
He said both Chief Justice David Maraga and the president are also in violation of the same principle.
“Our job is at stake here, someone wants to cut our jobs prematurely without holistically looking at the constitution. We are telling the president, don’t listen and don’t pass this one,” he said
“My advice to members of this House is that a time will come when we must have unity of purpose.
The judiciary and executive have a unity of purpose but legislator does not have a unity of purpose,” he added.
Adnan Keynan said that arms of government want to punish them for their own failures.
Chris Wamalwa(Kiminini) sought to know whether Maraga made the decision because he is retiring in the next three months.
Ndaragwa’s Jeremiah Kioni who is the chair of the Constitutional Implementation oversight Committee (CIOC) said they will be summoning Maraga and the executive to also understand why they have not adhered to the two-thirds gender rule.
At the senate, Ledama Olekina (Narok), Mutula Kilonzo jnr (Makueni), Amos Wako (Busia), Ochillo Ayacko (Migori), Moses Wetangula (Bungoma) and Farhiya Ali (Nominated) said that they will not allow anyone to force them to make decisions that they do not agree with.
In the senate, Ole Kina said: “The Chief Justice cannot force Parliament to implement the two-thirds gender rule against their will.
“I blame the committee of experts doing their work hurriedly, the action of the CJ takes back to the President unnecessarily,” he added.
Kilonzo Jnr, who is also the Senate minority whip said that he was not persuaded that the President has not quasi-judicial powers
“The CJ has acted prematurely, in a hurry and without certain minimal things were done.
It almost appears that he has become an activist, where he should be a president and at the same time of the being a judge of the supreme,” he said.
Wako, a former long-serving Attorney General said; “We are dealing with a matter that is raising very fundamental, complex constitutional matters, the structure of the constitution is that we removed from president the powers to prorogue and dissolve parliament.”