Fida joins case challenging Parliament for not passing gender rule
The Federation of Women Lawyers has been enjoined in a case in which two NGOs are challenging Parliament’s refusal to enact the two-thirds gender rule. Fida will be an interested party. High Court judge Joseph Onguto (below) also directed the National Assembly Speaker, his Senate counterpart and the Attorney General to file their responses within 21 days. The matter will be mentioned on October 6.
The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness and the Community Advocacy and Awareness Trust filed the case following Parliament’s failure to enact a mechanism to implement the gender principle at the national level, less than a year to the general election. The gender principle says not more than two thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender, in so far as this applies to the National Assembly and the Senate. Through lawyer Dismas Wambola, CREAW and CAAT want Parliament compelled to implement the gender rule. Otherwise, the Chief Justice should advise the President to dissolve Parliament.
The organisations also seek to have Parliament and the Attorney General directed to take steps and ensure the required legislation is enacted on time and report to the Chief Justice, whose seat is vacant. Full implementation of the principle was to be achieved through legislation that should have been in place by August 27 last year. The National Assembly extended the period by one year after the deadline.