DP William Ruto on Friday asked MPs to support a new Bill on the Two Thirds Gender Rule that seeks to have more women in leadership positions.
The MPs will on Tuesday launch a fresh attempt at passing the Bill sponsored by the National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale.
Ruto called on the MPs to pass the Bill saying empowering women is empowering the nation.
"We want to ask every member of parliament to give an opportunity to our daughters, to our wives and to our mothers going into the future," Ruto said.
He spoke at Chepsaita grounds in Uasin Gishu County, during the burial of mzee Paul Kibet Teigut, the father of his personal assistants, Farouk Kibet.
Ruto particularly told Jubilee MPs to support the Bill to end marginalization of women.
“You have a moment to make history by passing the Bill so as to eliminate marginalization of women in our country,” Ruto said.
“We should not stand in the way of development of our daughters, wives and mothers. We should give them the opportunity to be great citizens of our country by passing the Bill,” he added.
More than 50 MPs drawn from the Senate and the National Assembly who also attended the occasion vowed to support the Bill.
The legislators said they have resolved to take a common stand in supporting the Bill as the best way of addressing issues pertaining to women in leadership.
Previous attempts by MPs to pass the Bill flopped due to lack of enough support.
Present at the funeral were Duale, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki, Governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin-Gishu), Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu).
Others were Cabinet Secretaries Farida Karoney (Lands), Charles Keter (Energy) and Rashid Mohammed (Sports).
“As MPs, we must fulfill the article by the Constitution to actualize the two-third gender rule,” Duale said.
"A time is coming when there will be more women in parliament than men, so this Bill will also be useful to us," he added.
Kindiki said issues of women must be respected as enshrined in the Constitution. He urged his colleagues in the Senate and the National assembly to support the Bill.
“We will pass the Bill when it reaches the Senate,” Kindiki said.
Murkomen said: “We are ready as Senate to support the Two Thirds Gender rule once it is passed by the National Assembly.”
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika praised efforts to have the Bill passed, saying it will go a long way in addressing leadership problems facing women.
Ichungwa said MPs will pass the Bill so as to satisfy the requirement of the 2010 Constitution.
The MPs, at the same time, opposed calls for a referendum to amend the Constitution to create positions for some individuals, saying such a move would further burden Kenyans.
“Those telling us to amend the Constitution to benefit some few individuals should forget about it. But if the amendments is for the benefit of all Kenyans we will support it,” Ichungwa said.
He said those calling for amendments of the Constitution were doing it in bad faith, saying they were hellbent on ensuring the Deputy President doesn’t take over the leadership of the country in 2022.
“Some individuals are calling for amendments of the Constitution while using the International Criminal Court (ICC) to revive cases which were terminated with the intention of preventing the Deputy President from ascending to the presidency but they will fail in their motives,” Ichungwa said.
The leaders said they would support Ruto's presidential bid.
“We want to make it clear here today that we are behind the leadership of the Deputy President in 2022. In Kiambu, we are in agreement, firm and we don’t talk about it because it’s a closed chapter on who we are supporting in 2022,” Waititu said.
Ol-Kalou MP David Kiharao and his Mathira counterpart Rigathi Gachagua said residents of Central Kenya will support Ruto because he is a development conscious leader whose track record speaks for itself.
“You will know what the people of Central mean when they say they will support William Ruto for presidency in 2022 when the time comes. We are clear on where we came from, where we are and where we are going,” Gachagua said.
In a condolence message read on his behalf by the DP, President Uhuru Kenyatta described the late Teigut as a great parent who molded the behavior of his children to be good citizens.
“The good behavior, hard work and discipline of the late mzee Teigut as being witnessed in his son Farouk Kibet is a clear indication that he parented his children well,” the president said.
Ruto said parents have a tremendous responsibility to embrace good morals in their children.
“We have tremendous responsibility in this country as parents if we will have men and women who are worth to be citizens of tomorrow,” he said.