Gender rule yet to be attained despite progress - Daily Nation

Women did well in race for seats but gender rule figure is yet to be met

Friday August 18 2017

Josephine Wambua Mong'are

FIDA-Kenya chairperson Josephine Wambua Mong'are. She wants seven Cabinet posts reserved for women. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

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Women candidates had mixed fortunes in the just-concluded General Election.

Although the poll has ushered in the highest number of elected women, it still fell short of the threshold set by the Constitution.

As a result, the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida Kenya) has gone to court to stop the 12th Parliament from sitting due to the gender imbalance.

In its case, Fida argues that the timelines for the implementation of the gender rule for the National Assembly have been ignored.

It says it would be unlawful for senators and MPs to be sworn into office before the two institutions meet the gender parity rule.

However, outgoing National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale last week said once the new office holders are sworn in on Tuesday, they will prioritise debate on the Gender Bill.

Although female candidates did not do as well as they should have, from the results announced by the electoral commission, the Jubilee Party had the highest number of women elected to various key political seats.

Of the three women who have made history as the first elected governors, two were Jubilee candidates — outgoing National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso, who won the Bomet governorship; and former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, the incoming Kirinyaga County boss.

Former Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu won the Kitui governorship on a Narc ticket.

Her party is allied to the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

Dr Laboso, who was also the Sotik MP, garnered 175,932 votes to beat incumbent Isaac Ruto, who was defending his seat on a Chama Cha Mashinani ticket.

Mr Ruto, a Nasa principal, got 85,863 votes.

Ms Waiguru staged a spirited campaign to trounce incumbent Joseph Ndathi during the Jubilee Party nomination in Kirinyaga, and in the August 8 election, defeated former Gichugu MP and Cabinet minister Martha Karua after garnering 159,606 votes against 120,341 in a tough battle.

But it is Mrs Ngilu, a veteran politician and former Cabinet minister in the Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta governments, who once vied for the presidency, who pulled a surprise after she surmounted Wiper Democratic Movement’s popularity in the Ukambani region, and the vigour by her two male opponents.

She won by 167,741 votes to beat Kitui Senator David Musila, who was running as an independent and incumbent Julius Malombe of Wiper.

Mr Musila, who returned to the race as an independent candidate after losing the Wiper ticket to Dr Malombe under controversial circumstances, got 113,012 votes to emerge second while the incumbent was third with 74,006 votes.

In the Senate, the Jubilee Party won two seats through former Nakuru Assembly Speaker Susan Kihika for the county, and former Cabinet minister in the Kibaki administration Margaret Kamar, who clinched the Uasin Gishu seat with a landslide.

Ms Kihika, a lawyer, won decisively with 656,766 votes to replace Mr James Mungai, who opted to run for the governor seat as an independent but lost.

Prof Kamar, a former Eldoret East MP and Higher Education minister who unsuccessfully ran for the Uasin Gishu governor position in 2013, beat a field of male rivals who included incumbent Isaac Melly, bagging 225,817 votes that translated to 67 per cent, to make a political comeback.

The third woman to join her two colleagues to also make history as the first elected female senators is Ms Fatuma Dullo, who captured the Isiolo County seat.

The nominated senator contested under the Party of Reforms and Democracy, which is affiliated to the Jubilee Party.

She floored six male contestants to replace Senator Mohammed Kuti, who has won the Isiolo governor seat, and garnered 14,544 votes to beat Mr Hussein Roba, an independent candidate, and Mr Mohammed Libani of Jubilee, who got 11,705 votes and 13,675 respectively.

In addition to bagging 13 out of the 22 constituency seats won by incoming women MPs, the Jubilee Party also has the majority of the 47 Woman Rep seats, followed by the Orange Democratic party (ODM).

ODM also took five seats for female MPs headed to the 12th Parliament.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party won 25 seats, ODM bagged 11, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party secured three seats while Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC), Mr Moses Wetang'ula’s Ford Kenya and Kanu won one seat each.

Jubilee won the Kiambu seat by a landslide, with radio host Gathoni Wamuchomba garnering a whopping 915,477 votes to replace Ms Anna Nyokabi, whom she beat during the party primary, while in Murang’a Sabina Chege got 390,912 to retain her seat.

Nominated Senator Liza Chelule will now sit in the National Assembly after winning the Nakuru seat, while in Nyandarua, Ms Faith Wairumu replaces Ms Wanjiku wa Muhia, and Ms Wambui Ngirichi comes in as the second Kirinyaga woman representative.

Jubilee candidates also triumphed in Nyamira and Turkana, Lamu, Taita-Taveta and Trans Nzoia counties, where Ms Jerusha Mongina, Ms Joyce Akai, Ms Ruwedia Mohamed, Ms Lydia Haika, and Ms Janet Nangabo won the seats respectively.

The outfit also won in Laikipia, where Ms Catherine Wanjiku becomes the second woman representative.

Others who secured woman rep positions are Ms Faith Mukami (Nyeri), Ms Rehema Dida (Isiolo), Ms Janet Marania Teiyaa (Kajiado), Ms Soipan Tuya (Narok), Ms Chebet Tum (Nandi), Ms Sofia Sheikh (Marsabit) and Ms Gladys Boss Sholei (Uasin Gishu).

In Tharaka-Nithi, Ms Beatrice Nkatha was re-elected woman rep.

Others are Ms Jane Jepkemoi (Elgeyo-Marakwet), Ms Jane Wanjiku (Embu), Ms Anab Mohamed (Garissa), Ms Joyce Korir (Bomet), Ms Florence Koskey (Kericho) and Ms Lilian Tomitom (West Pokot).

Ms Maison Leshoomo retained the Samburu seat on a Kanu ticket.

Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s ODM won the Homa Bay seat, where Ms Gladys Wanga easily retained the seat.

It also won in Busia, where Ms Florence Mutua retained her seat.


The other seats captured by ODM are those for Nairobi, where Ms Esther Passaris beat incumbent Rachel Shebesh of Jubilee Party; and Kakamega, where Ms Elisie Busihie won.

Other ODM candidates who won are Ms Chrstine Ombaka (Siaya), Ms Pamela Awour (Migori), Ms Rozaah Akinyi (Kisumu), Ms Asha Hussein (Mombasa), Ms Getrude Mbeyu (Kilifi), Ms Zuleika Juma (Kwale) and Ms Janet Ongera (Kisii).

Wiper party won in Makueni, where Ms Rose Museo is the incoming woman rep, Machakos (Ms Joyce Kamene) and Kitui, where Ms Irene Muthoni Kasalu won after garnering 230,106 votes.