This is a bill that seeks to ensure that no more than two thirds of the same gender serve in particular government office or designated positions. The bill which is proposed by Aden Duale has been turned down several times by the members of parliament due to lack of quorum or the required number of MP’s to support it, the latest being last week when more than half of the members failed to appear to vote as opposed to the 233 required minima. This prompted the Bill proponent, Aden Duale to request the speaker to postpone the Bill vote to later date when the members are expected to show up in the house. In this article we shall discuss the benefits and disadvantages of this bill and why we think it has fallen several times.
Despite being eight years since the promulgation of the Kenya’s new constitution, enactment of the gender laws has become a nightmare. This is greatly attributable to fact that the bill does not respond to the burning questions and how the bill shall address them when it becomes law. Previously we have noted with a lot of concern how political parties have been doing nominations to fill vacant positions and the drama that has been faced there after. Some of the political parties end up giving the positions to their close allies at the expense of considering merits. It is therefore not clear even if the gender bill is passed how this challenge is going to be addressed.
Another notable challenge is tax overburden to the citizens to finance and pay the increasing number of elective and nominated positions as the bill proses that the decision to nominate can be done after the elective positions are filled. Let us think it this way, what if hundred or ninety nine percent of the elected leaders falls within the same gender? this means that a whooping number equivalent to a third of the elected leaders will be nominated to take up positions adding to the salaries expense by a big margin resulting to over-taxation of the already over-taxed taxpayers.
Another disadvantage that is likely to arise from this kind of bill is laxity of either of the genders to participate in equal measures in a democratic electoral process as they have it in mind that they will be nominated in the event that they miss out. They therefore will tend to cling to the parties as opposed to taking part in electoral process to ensure that they are strategically placed to be nominated when an opportunity comes along.
Despite MPs raising contentious issues in the bill, Duale has not redrafted it and therefore come February next year the bill could be turned down for a subsequent fourth time.
In my view, the bill is a kind of budget bloating and therefore should not be passed. We should instead focus on reducing the number of elective positions to ensure the budget remains within the taxpayers reach.