Why vote on Gender Bill has been postponed


Why vote on Gender Bill has been postponed
National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale addresses the House on November 28, 2018.

In Summary

  • This was after Leader of Majority Aden Duale called for the voting to be pushed to February 2019 over lack of quorum in the House.
  • According to Mr. Duale, the Bill – which requires quorum of 233 members in the House – would have flopped if voted on on Wednesday and would then have to be considered earliest in June next year.
  • The Garissa Township Member of Parliament, however, opined that deferring the Bill on Wednesday will allow for it to heard and voted on in February when the House membership quorum is likely to be achieved.

The National Assembly on Wednesday resolved to postpone voting on the gender bill to a later date due to lack of required numbers.

This was after Leader of Majority Aden Duale called for the voting to be pushed to February 2019 over lack of quorum in the House.

According to Mr. Duale, the Bill – which requires quorum of 233 members in the House – would have flopped if voted on on Wednesday and would then have to be considered earliest in June next year.

The Garissa Township Member of Parliament, however, opined that deferring the Bill on Wednesday will allow for it to heard and voted on in February when the House membership quorum is likely to be achieved.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise to seek your indulgence to allow me to defer the business appearing as order number 10, both in terms of replying and voting on the second reading, until such further time as a House business committee shall decide having consulted widely,” said Mr. Duale.

“Mr. Speaker, in making this request, I am conscious – after consulting the House leadership, and moreso the Whips – I am conscious that should we proceed to attempt to take the vote, and upon counting the members present and if it is discovered that we are less than the requisite threshold of 233 members as required under article 256 (d) of the constitution, we will risk losing the Bill.”

The legislator said that, if the Bill flops on Wednesday, then it will have to be republished again in the next session, after which members will have to wait for 14 days plus an additional 90 days for maturity and fresh public participation before it is presented before the House for consideration.

“However, if we take the option of deferring it today, Mr. Speaker, we will save it and remain with the voting in the second reading, committee of the whole House, and the third reading. These three steps can be entered in February next year having saved the Bill by a way of deferment,” he added.

The Jubilee Party point-man, who is also the mover of the Bill, further dismissed claims among a section of MPs that failing to vote on the Bill on Wednesday will lead to its collapse saying such claims do “not hold any water.”

“Mr. Speaker, in line with standing order 142 (b), this Bill will naturally lapse in December 2019,” stated Mr. Duale.

A section of MPs supported Duale’s stand and, despite opposition by others, Speaker Justin Muturi shelved voting of the Bill for a date to be communicated at a later time.

Besides Members of Parliament, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party boss Raila Odinga as well as his Wiper Democratic Movement counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka were also present in the House.

For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel



Video Of The Day: On Viusasa, now you can download your videos and play them back later

Story By Ian Omondi
More by this author