The 12th Parliament is faced with uncertainty after Chief Justice (CJ) David Maraga advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve the August House for failing to enact the 2/3rd gender rule.
In a letter to the President, Maraga faulted legislators for failing to enact the legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule.
“For over 9 years now, Parliament has not enacted the legislation required to pass the two-thirds gender rule which, as the Court of Appeal in its judgment, is a clear testimony of Parliament’s lackadaisical attitude and conduct in this matter. Consequently, it’s my constitutional duty to advise Your Excellency to dissolve Parliament under Article 261(7) of the constitution.” Maraga states.
The article states, “If Parliament fails to enact legislation in accordance with an order under clause 6(b), the Chief Justice shall advise the President to dissolve Parliament and the President shall dissolve Parliament.”
The CJ said he has in his possession 6 petitions from Kenyans as well as from the Law Society of Kenya which helped him come to the conclusion to advise the President to dissolve Parliament.
Maraga says his role in the matter is not to conduct an inquiry but to ascertain if Parliament has satisfied its obligation in view of the existence of a valid Court order and to ascertain whether or not the Court order has been complied with.
The CJ has also dismissed as baseless a contention by the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ken Lusaka that the orders were not transmitted to Parliament. Maraga says the orders were made in the presence of lawyers representing Parliament and the six petitioners and transmitted to the Chief Justice.
The Speakers had contested the dissolution saying it would trigger a constitutional crisis but Maraga argues that the institution must be held accountable.
“In the circumstances, let’s endure pain, if we must if only to remind ourselves as a Country, that choices, and especially choices on constitutional obligations, have consequences.” He said.
“Let’s endure pain if only to remind ourselves that as a Country, being a democracy that has chosen to be governed by the Rule of Law, we must say no to impunity and hold everyone accountable for their actions or omissions,” The Chief Justices concluded.