, ELDORET, Kenya Nov 16 – Deputy President William Ruto on Friday asked MPs to support a new Bill on the Two Thirds Gender Rule by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, because “empowering women is empowering a nation.”
Ruto said the Bill seeks to have additional women in leadership if the election doesn’t meet the threshold as enshrined in the 2010 Constitution.
He urged legislators to support the bill so as to end ‘marginalization’ of women in the country.
Speaking in Chepsaita grounds in Uasin Gishu County, during the burial of mzee Paul Kibet Teigut, the father of one of his personal assistants, Farouk Kibet, Ruto told Jubilee MPs in particular to support the bill for the sake of future development of women in leadership.
“You have a moment to make history by passing the bill so as to eliminate marginalization of women in our country,” the Deputy President 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.”
More than 50 MPs drawn from the Senate and the National Assembly who attended the occasion vowed to support the bill.
The legislators said they would approve the proposed amendments to the Constitution to ensure more women are elected into the two houses.
The MPs said they have resolved to take a common stand in supporting the bill by Duale as the only way to address issues pertaining to women in leadership.
Present 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,” said Duale.
Kindiki said issues of women must be respected as enshrined in the Constitution, urging his colleagues in the Senate and the National assembly to support the bill.
“We will pass the bill when it reaches the Senate,” said Kindiki.
Murkomen urged legislators to support the bill in line with the 2010 Constitution.
“We are ready as Senate to support the two third gender rule once it is passed by the National Assembly,” said Murkomen.
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika praised efforts to have the bill passed, saying it will go a long way in addressing leadership problems facing women.
“We support the ongoing efforts by our colleagues to have the two third gender rule passed by Parliament and Senate,” said Kihika.
Kimani Ichungwa said MPs will pass the two third gender rule so as to satisfy the requirement of the 2010 Constitution on issue of gender and leadership.
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,” said Ichungwa.
He said those calling for amendments of the Constitution were doing it in bad faith, saying they were ill-bent 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 the presidency but they will fail in their motives,” said Ichungwa.
The leaders said they would support the Deputy President for presidency in 2022.
“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,” said Governor Waititu.
Ol-Kalou MP David Kiharao and his Mathira counterpart Rigathi Gachagua said residents of Central Kenya will support Ruto in 2022 because he was development conscious leader whose 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 times comes. We are clear on where we came from, where we are and where we are going,” said Gachagua.
The leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a condolence message read for him by the Deputy President 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,” said President Kenyatta.
Ruto said parents have a tremendous responsibility to embrace good morals on our 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,” said Ruto.