Male legislators in the Kisii County Assembly have adopted a motion that seeks to bar nominated Ward Reps from voting in the House in what is seen as a direct onslaught against female MCAs.
This was laid bare during the Third Annual Legislative Conference which ended in Mombasa on Thursday after Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service Rachel Shebesh questioned the competence of the Clerk and Speaker of the Assembly for having approved the motion.
An angry Ms Shebesh openly challenged the Senator Sam Ongeri to ensure that the motion is not adopted and reminded the assembly of the consequence of approving the motion that exposes the chasm between the male and female legislators in the assembly.
“The fact that this motion was approved for debate lays serious questions on the competency of the Speaker and the Clerk. Do they have capacity to preside over the House business?,” Ms Shebesh asked when she spoke on Thursday.
According to some female MCAs who talked to the Nation, the motion was conceptualised to spite Nominated Senators, most who are women.
Elected MCAs believe that their nominated counterparts are using the opportunity to undermine them so as to have an easy ride in 2022.
The elected group, a majority male, believe that the nominated MCAs are encroaching on their mandate with the support of the county executive. They argue that the county executive is facilitating nominated MCAs at the expense of the elected ones.
The elected MCAs accuse Governor James Ongwae of using nominated MCAs to implement projects in their wards without reference, which they consider to be a scheme to undermine them.
Sensi MCA Paul Angwenyi, who moved the motion denied claims that the objective of the motion was to target women MCAs.
He told the Nation that the numbers in the assembly are not spread equally and the aim of the motion is to spread the votes every time a vote is to be taken.
According to a source at the Assembly, Nominated MCA Karen Magara introduced a motion that seeks to compel the county government to upgrade Riosiri Market.
However, while moving the motion, she claimed that the elected MCA of the area where the market is located had threatened her.
It was at this point that elected MCAs stood up on points of order and took on the nominated one of encroaching on their mandate and accused county executive committee member in charge of trade Claire Obino (herself a woman) of conniving with the nominated MCAs to grant then tenders to construct markets to spite the elected ones.
An exchange erupted in the House, with both sides hurling angry words and epithets at each other. Sources said insults were thrown around as the speaker watched helplessly.
It was at this point, that men legislators retreated and decided to craft amendments to the Standing orders to strip off the women legislators their right to vote. They plan to remove all women MCAs from positions of House leadership.