- During the last election, only a handful of governors appointed deputies from the opposite sex
- Parties should be compelled through the Political Parties Act to be consistent with the Constitution to meet the two-thirds gender rule
It will be a big win for women if a proposal is adopted to compel candidates vying for governor to pick deputies of the opposite sex.
President Uhuru Kenyatta received the BBI report on Tuesday afternoon from task force chairman Senator Yusuf Haji.
Present were Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The Building Bridges Initiative report proposes that in future, governors and their deputy governors should be of the opposite sex.
During the last election, only a handful of governors appointed deputies from the opposite gender.
They include Governors Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Stephen Sang (Kericho), Samuel Tunai (Narok), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho), the late Joyce Laboso (Bomet), Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Stephen Sang (Nandi), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua) and Ann Waiguru (Kirinyaga).
The current Constitution states that “each candidate for election as county governor shall nominate a person who is qualified for nomination for election as county governor as a candidate for deputy governor.”
It goes on to state that, “The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall not conduct a separate election for the deputy governor but shall declare the candidate nominated by the person who is elected county governor to have been elected as the deputy governor.”
The BBI report further recommendsthat parties should be compelled through the Political Parties Act to be consistent with the Constitution to meet the two-thirds gender rule and other constitutional measures of inclusion through party lists.
“This will equalise both genders in political terms, rather than creating a parallel system that creates a sense of tokensim,” the report points out.
The report adds that all the existing 290 constituencies will be saved, including the protected seats because they have become key for representation of sparsely populated areas.
It further says individuals included in any party lists shall initially have undergone a process that uses transparent public participation in counties even before any other vetting procedure is used.
“Devolve political parties to have strong county based party branches that will allow the people to have political forums and avenues to hold their elected leaders accountable throughout a term and not just during elections,” it states.