July 03 2015 0Comment

Land Mark Ruling – Two Thirds Gender Rule Constitutional petition 182 of 2015

Land Mark Ruling – Two Thirds Gender Rule

CREAW filed this suit in the Constitutional court seeking declaration that the Attorney General and the Constitution Implementation Commission had failed in their duty to develop and present affirmative action legislation ahead of the August 27th 2015 deadline placed by the Supreme Court.

High Court judge Mumbi Ngugi, who has allowed two organisations to be enjoined in a suit by a women's lobby challenging Parliament’s failure to enact the two-thirds gender rule as per a Supreme Court directive issued three years ago.
High Court judge Mumbi Ngugi, who has allowed two organisations to be enjoined in a suit by a women’s lobby challenging Parliament’s failure to enact the two-thirds gender rule as per a Supreme Court directive issued three years ago.

In her ruling , Justice Mumbi  found that the AG and CIC had, ‘dropped the ball’ and demonstrated, ‘laxity and reluctance’ in preparing legislation for tabling in Parliament that would see the Constitutional requirement that no more than two thirds of elective and appointive bodies are composed of the same gender, realized. 

The AG she said, had waited until the ‘last minute’ to set in motion mechanisms toward the drafting of a bill and the CIC, she said, ‘attempted to wash their hands’ of the failure to meet the August 27 deadline set by the Supreme Court in December of 2012.

Parliament, she said, was not exempt from blame either as the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee had abdicated its oversight role in failing to ensure the legislation setting out how the two-thirds gender rule would be realized in Parliament, was in place within five years of the promulgation of the Constitution as set out in the fifth schedule of the Constitution.

And while the August 27, 2015 deadline may not have passed in actuality, the AG and CIC she found, had violated their obligation to ensure the relevant bill was in place ‘as soon as is reasonable and practicable’ as the Supreme Court had required of them in its December 2012 advisory opinion.

They, she said, had therefore threatened to violate Article 27(8) and 81(b) of the Constitution which set out the two-thirds gender rule.

Ensuing from the above, she ordered the AG and CIC to have the relevant bill prepared for tabling in Parliament within 40 days.

We appreciate the persistent and spirited fight by our lawyers led by Judy Thongori, Elisha Onyoya and the interested parties Njeri Kabeberi Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) and Hon. Alice Wahome Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association (KEWOPA).

Kindly circulate this judgment as far and wide as you can and we appreciate your  continued support to help kenya realize the benefits of this great Constitution.

dennis-hombe