The National Assembly (NA) has made changes to its leadership today.
Though majority leader and Garissa MP Aden Duale survived the axe. Others such as KEWOPA chair and Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire who was the Deputy majority Whip didn’t survive. She was replaced by Maoka Maore, Igembe North MP.
It is against this backdrop that the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) has written a protest letter to the Jubilee and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) parties asking for a ‘correction before house gets to business’
Below is their statement:
Today, we the women MPs, take this opportunity to comment on the recent leadership changes in the National Assembly. Firstly, we fully support President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Big Four Agenda and his dream to give us a united country through the Handshake and the BBI. In this regard, we fully support the purge he has instituted lately to rid both Houses of Parliament of leaders he believes are not fully aligned and committed to his agenda and dream for Kenya.
We agree fully that it is the President who made a promise to Kenyans during the campaigns about the kind of country he intended to create. We reiterate our commitment to helping the President succeed by supporting his agenda and leadership line up in Parliament. We are however disappointed with how this support played out and, for the first time in recent years, given Kenyans a National Assembly that is entirely under the leadership of one gender, men.
The changes announced today have completely shut out women and left them at the peripheries of the leadership of the National Assembly. This puts Kenya at odds with the pattern in other progressive and modernizing nations. As a leader among developing nations and especially in Africa, Kenya needs to move with trends not go against them.
We appeal to our leaders particularly the President and Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga to review the matter of leadership of the National Assembly with a view to ensuring women have space in its top leadership. We are sure that the leaders of the various parties in the National Assembly have no doubt of the existence of solid women who can ensure the full realization of the national agenda as contained in the President’s pronouncements.
We want to believe what we have ended up with in the National Assembly is a product of oversight and not a deliberate effort to shut out women from leadership.
We call on the Executive, to honor its commitment to protect the rights of women and men across the country as is stipulated in the constitution. It is our hope that this oversight can and will be corrected before the House gets down to the business of pursuing the nations agenda. Thank you.
Hon Rosa Buyu,
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