NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23 – Members of various political parties, Nairobi women MCAs and rights groups have raised concern over what they term as an onslaught on women leadership in Kenya.
They came together at a press conference to express their support for Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, who is facing an impeachment motion initiated by Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi.
Ziwani MCA Millicent Mugadi said women already hold very few positions in government and doesn’t understand why the male MPs are so quick to condemn them for wrong doing.
“Behind every successful woman is a patient man and we are calling on these men to be patient and give women an opportunity, what kind of example are they showing us?”
“We are trying to give women opportunities to perform yet on the other hand they are busy cutting our feet. We can perform… we can multitask; we are trying to tell the MPs to put their differences aside, Kenya is bigger than any of us,” Mugadi said.
Sophia Abdi Noor a consultant for leadership commended Waiguru on her work ethic and efficiency and asked leaders to judge fellow leaders by their performance and not gender.
“Not again another woman… not after we have lost Nancy Baraza; not after we have lost Gladys Shollei. Not again do we want to see another woman to be the subject of discussion.”
“Whenever a woman is performing and making achievements and making track records there are always people who are watching and seeing, how can we now tame this woman? And this is what is happening.”
Noor also called on Kenyans to safeguard affirmative action at all costs and not just watch as women in leadership get edged out of power.
Women representation currently stands at six out of 18 Cabinet Secretaries, 16 out of 290 elected MPs, no female Governor and no elected female Senator.
At the same time, the women leaders condemned the manner in which petitions to impeach leaders are being blindly signed by MPs.
This came as Kiambu MP Jude Njomo attempted to withdraw his signature from the petition initiated by Linturi to Waiguru.
However, Parliament’s Standing Order 16 (4) which outlines the procedure for the removal of a Cabinet Secretary states that any signature appended to the list cannot not be withdrawn.
Nominated MCA Zulfa Hakim who attended the press conference in support of Waiguru urged MPs to carefully consider their decisions and put the country’s interests first.
“I respect the work of the MPs and I am only urging them when they sign these impeachments or they are trying to move a motion in Parliament I think it is very important for them to consider what they are going for.”
“To consider what it is, how good it is for Kenyans and to desist from malicious, fictitious implications of innocent people,” she urged
Noor asked for evidence of Waiguru’s breach of the Constitution to be brought to light and not merely make her another case of victimisation.
“It is in fact very unfortunate. It is worrying, it is giving us, you know an impression that people we have elected to the high levels are not people who are critically looking at issues before they sign documents.”
“Last night I was a worried person because I felt if a whole Member of Parliament can say that I was misled, then what happens to the rest of this nation?” she quizzed.
Lastly, they demanded the release of a copy of the full list of MPs who signed the petition and asked for a withdrawal of the same or mass action will be taken.