In Summary
  • Nominations to the Legislative Council (LegCo) were used to tap resourceful people who may not have been on the ballot.
  • Leaders have turned nominations into avenues of rewarding loyalty across party rank and file.

The conclusion of every general election is always awaited by two anxious parties: The candidates and the nominees in political party lists. 

The Constitution provides that no elective body shall have more than two-thirds of either gender serving without representation of the other gender.

Similarly, it demands that a third of all elective and appointive positions be occupied by women.

NOMINATION
The Gender and Equality Commission, chaired by Ms Winfred Lichuma, is mandated to actualise this requirement.

But why have the latest nominations to the Senate, National Assembly and County Assemblies failed this test, in the eye of an angry public?

Nominations to the Legislative Council (LegCo) — in existence from 1907 to 1963, when Kenya attained Independence — were used to tap resourceful people who may not have been on the ballot.

This was an opening that our Founding Fathers needed in their assaults on the colonialists, who used collaboration for effective administration with collaborators well rewarded.

PARTY LOYALTY
Earlier, nomination to the LegCo was done by the colonialists to stem, manage and curb mounting resistance.

Fast forward to post-colonial times and leaders have turned nominations into avenues of rewarding loyalty across party rank and file.

That is how Kariuki Chotara, Mulu Mutisya, Joseph Kamotho, Grace Mwewa, Catherine Nyamato, Zipporah Kittony and several others across the country found themselves in Parliament.

The trend has progressed — albeit with slight changes as to the justification and criteria.

Ultimately, however, it boils down to one thing: Loyalty. 

JUBILEE GOVT
Amid this, the 2010 constitutional threshold on gender equity and equality is far from being achieved.

To its credit, the Jubilee administration under President Uhuru Kenyatta has embraced the threshold whole-heartedly.

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