National Gender and Equality Commission

NGEC in watershed case over equality of MCAs

The Commission has filed a petition with the High Court of Nakuru seeking the determination on a matter in which the Nakuru County Assembly passed and adopted a report of the Committee on Selection Harmonization of Membership of Sectoral and Select Committees of the Assembly that sanctioned de-whipping 12 nominated members serving as Chairpersons and Vice Chairpersons in different committees.

The outcome of petition No 1. of 2019 at the Nakuru law courts where the Commission has sued the Majority Leader, Clerk, Speaker of County Assembly of Nakuru, Hon. Stanley Karanja and others is being watched closely as its outcome will have sweeping effects across the 47 county assemblies of Kenya. In the matter, NGEC is also contesting a circular issued by the Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC) stating that nominated MCA’s do not have a defined constituency and therefore capped their mileage allowance to the standard mileage provision.

According to the preliminary objections filed by lawyer for the Commission Sylvester Mbithi, the move by the county assembly creates a negative discriminatory, divisive, class and strata of first class and second class members of the assembly whereby, nominated female members belong to the second class, are inferior to the first class and therefore not competent and qualified to hold leadership positions in the county assembly.

“Denying nominated members mileage to traverse the entire county, grounds them within the headquarters of the county assembly thus denying them an opportunity to get representative views of their constituents, an opportunity to share and deliberate with them on the business of the house the cumulative effect being unfair representation of special interests in the business of the House” reads the statement in part.

The Petition seeks a declaration that nominated and elected members of County Assemblies have equal status and are entitled to equal opportunities, responsibilities and privileges. It also seeks A declaration that SRC circular Ref. NO. ARC/TS/CGOVT/3/16 on remuneration and benefits for members of County Assembly to the extent that it provides that nominated members have no defined geographical constituency is erroneous, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void.

The hearing is set for March 11th, 2019.


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