Thursday September 24, 2020 – Details have emerged about how President Uhuru Kenyatta shot down the two thirds gender rule during a past meeting with lawmakers.

In 2010 while President Kenyatta was the Deputy Prime Minister and in charge of the Finance docket, he poked holes in the proposal when it was first introduced during a meeting at the Great Rift Valley Lodge.

Discussing the 2010 draft Constitution, Uhuru challenged how the Constitution would guarantee a certain outcome during open competitive elections to ensure that no more than two thirds of one gender won.

He also argued that the rule would bar people from participating, favouring either gender which he maintained contradicts political rights. 

“Mr. Chairman, help me understand how that principle that you want to incorporate there sits with the same Article 43 that we’re deliberating on (political rights of citizens),” Kenyatta challenged.

The committee chairman, Abdikadir Mohammed, explained that it would be the responsibility of political parties to make sure that at least one third of nominees during primaries were of the other gender.

More arguments were raised that even though that was achieved, there was no way to guarantee the outcome during elections.

“When you put one third women candidates and my party puts up one third male candidates and we go to the field, the vote will determine the winner.”

“How do you determine an outcome to achieve that one third?” Senator Moses Wetangula, who was then the Minister for Foreign Affairs asked.

Deputy President William Ruto, who was then the Minister for Agriculture, stated that the rule should be entrenched under Chapter Seven of the Constitution on Representation of the People.

Following failure by Parliament to enact legislation to implement the rule, Chief Justice David Maraga advised Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament. 

It remains unclear whether the Head of State will act on the advisory in light of his past views about the rule. 


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