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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Government Receives Resounding Defeat In New Constituencies Bill

But What About The 50 Seats For Women?

The fact that the government of national unity had a closed-door meeting immediately after receiving a terrible defeat in a crucial bill that was supposed to pave way for the addition of new constituencies speaks volumes.

It confirms that the new constituencies (40 had been planned) were a crucial part of President Kibaki's re-election plan. Remember Hon Martha Karua's words at an unguarded moment, she said; "new constituencies are a must!"

It now emerges that the government's strategy was to sugar-coat the new constituencies bill with the rider of 50 new seats for women. It was a good idea on paper—the operative word here being "on paper." I keep on saying that politics is does not work with good on paper ideas and I keep asking who is the President's political strategist? Do they really know what they are doing?

The reasoning was that being so close to the polls MPs would not dare risk antagonizing the electorate by rejecting something as popular as 50 new seats in parliament for women. It was a terrible miscalculation.

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4 comments:

derek said...

Remember Unga Group and the inflated prices, stocks and the imaginary figures that were published. What happened next? Even marketing guru Cyrill Nabutola could not help the situation. He ran back to the Nation. It is not different at Equity at the moment. Paper money. Time will tell.

Cheque kiting, tramped-up figures and alike. Somthing should be wrong and that is why the showbiz marketing. Mwangi appears more in the newspapers than the Governor of Central Bank.

kepn said...

On the contrary Chris, Kenyans need to understand and fully appreciate spirit behind the affirmative action bill.

In most of Africa, women have not traditionally enjoyed the same opportunities earlier in life like their male counterparts. In order for this country to achieve some progress towards universal gender parity in public offices (currently nowhere near the 30% national benchmark), these special seats were to be created in parliament for women to assume a significant presence in our legislature - a very critical step if you ask me.

On the other hand, if the country deals satisfactorily with problem of affirmative action, it also benefits indirectly in the war against HIV/Aids pandemic, extreme poverty and even environmental degradation. So it is a little deeper than mere politics.

Unfortunately, Hon. Karua hijacked an otherwise perfect bill for political expediency. This is a disgrace and very disappointing to women considering Martha Karua is a woman herself and a very powerful one at that.

Sue said...

I support affirmative action but there should be no shortcuts and favors!

David Mwangi said...

I am happy that bill flopped because the way they were to implement it was flawed. I support affirmative action if/when done right, and I think the disabled should benefit from it first before the women. That was not Karua's finest hour... her obstinacy and arrogance came to light. Can you imagine Kombo assigned 5 MP posts for women? Wouldn't he select all his girlfriends like the way he tried with the Kamati girl to the African Union?

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