NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – Women leaders under the Team Embrace cross-party alliance have proposed the expansion of the national executive to include a Prime Ministers and two deputies.
The leaders among them Kirinyaga Governor Anne Mumbi, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga proposed the retention of the position of President and Deputy President when they tabled their views before the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce Thursday morning.
Governor Ngilu, while presenting their views before BBI, recommended that two of the five positions in the national executive be ringfenced for women with the presidential ticket comprising of persons of opposite gender.
“The opposite gender rule shall be applied in the expanded executive, with two seats sets aside for women. Since independence the two top seats have been going to men,” said Ngilu.
In their proposals, the women leaders also want the opposite gender rule to apply in other elective and presidential appointments to ensure gender balance in leadership, State and government positions.
This means that if the Presidential candidate is a man, his running mate should be a woman and vice versa.
The leaders proposed the application of the same rule at the gubernatorial level.
The women leaders stated that they will support minimal constitutional changes, but most importantly changes that put more emphasis on women inclusivity, youth and marginalized groups.
“We the women of Kenya recognize and appreciate that one of the national values and principles of governance is inclusivity, women will only support changes that will strengthen rather than erode the current gains for women, vulnerable and the marginalized populations,” said Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda.
Other proposals that have been brought forward include the establishment of regional assemblies, where Members of County Assembly from the same region seat and legislate from regional assemblies as opposed to wards.
Even as the BBI team enters its final stretch of collecting views from key stakeholders, it’s now evident that a referendum is inevitable.
The team is expected to make a report before the end of September and present it to President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.