Gender rule case premature, Speaker Muturi tells court


Gender rule case premature, Speaker Muturi tells court
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi speaking during a past event

National Assembly has asked the court to dismiss case seeking to stop the swearing-in of the members of the 12th Parliament, saying that the orders sought are unconstitutional.

The court has been told that the president is yet to gazette the place and date of the first sitting of the new House and as such the Notice of Motion application and the petition is premature and misplaced.

“No prejudice or harm shall be caused to the women lobby group if the members of the 12th National Assembly will be sworn in,” the court heard.

In an affidavit filed by the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi, the court has been told that it is not possible to have the alleged legislation enacted unless the members of the 12th parliament are sworn in and allowed to carry out their constitutional mandate in accordance with the Constitution.

Further, the court heard that failure by Parliament to enact the said legislation cannot be remedied by an order of the court stopping the swearing-in of the members of the National Assembly and the Senate.

“The orders to sought by the petitioners are contradictory in that, the same petitioners who seek to stop the swearing-in of the members of Parliament are also expecting the same court to give orders directing Parliament to pass the necessary legislation to implement the two-thirds gender rule as the first order of the business,” argued Muturi.

It was the National Assembly’s position that the petitioners have not exhausted the remedies set out in the Constitution as directed by Justice John Mativo in his judgment.

Presiding judge Chacha Mwita has been told that the orders sought are against the National Assembly and the Senate which consists of 416 members, excluding the two Speakers who are ex-officio members, and if granted the same cannot be enforced against the Speaker and the National Assembly.

In the case the women lobby groups, Centre for Rights Education and Awareness and Federation of Women Lawyers, moved to court to stop the reconvening of Parliament over failure to meet the constitutionally provided two-thirds gender rule.

The lobby groups argued that the total does not reach 117 members required to reach the gender threshold.

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