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Women politicians go to court to challenge nomination lists

Women candidates who vied for various seats in the just concluded elections have gone to court to protest their lack of inclusion in the gazetted lists of people nominated to the National Assembly, Senate and county assemblies.

In Kiambu, 85 women who were vying for MCA seats have also filed a case in court challenging their lack of inclusion in the list of nominated MCAs in the county.

CRONIES

The list of nominees for MCA seats in Kiambu comprises of people who are not registered as voters and those who campaigned for politicians, including a gospel musician who entertained a particular politician’s supporters throughout the campaigns.

A photographer of a former MP is also among those nominated to be MCAs.

Ms Gladys Chania, a politician from Kiambu, told Nation that the criteria used to come up with the nominations list was largely the “wrong way of rewarding politicians’ supporters”.

“Rewarding loyalists with positions meant for public service is wrong, it lacks merit. It means ordinary voters will never get these slots because they are not attached to politicians.

“Those who have worked for the Jubilee Party deserve the slots but the rest require to follow a certain sequence in a bid to ensure that the spirit of the two-thirds gender rule is attained,” she said.

POLITICAL NOVICES

She said it was unfortunate that some of the nominees to the Kiambu County Assembly lack the slightest clue on what politics entails since they have never declared interest in political affairs thus making them a liability to the already strained resources in the county.

“At least 10 women who vied for the MCA seats should have been nominated to the county assembly.

“These are people who have demonstrated a clear interest in leadership, they have campaigned and felt the challenges therein and would have ensured continuity in what we are seeing with 2013 nominees winning elective seats this year,” said Ms Chania.

COURT CASE

Following the dissatisfaction with the nominations, Women Candidates Network of Kenya (WCNK) told Nation that, through their lawyer, Mr Gitobu Imanyara, they have filed an urgent suit in court seeking to have Attorney-General Githu Muigai, Senate and National Assembly explain why they have presided over discriminatory laws that bar women who make it to the ballot from being in the nomination lists.

They argue that the two-thirds gender rule spirit is killed when women who are not politically wired fill up nomination slots at the expense of those who vied and lost.

SEATS POLITICAL

They add that the seats are political in nature and therefore require to be occupied by people who have already immersed themselves into the world of politics through vying for elective posts, for example.

“What we are instead seeing is priority given to persons who funded others’ campaigns, relatives, loyalists and even girlfriends of certain politicians.

“This is wrong. We have compounded the problem that we had in 2013 all over the country,” said Dr Juliet Kimemia, a Kiambu senate candidate.

“The lists are a clear demonstration of lack of political goodwill in fulfilling the two-thirds gender rule. Political seats should be held by politicians not persons who funded others’ campaigns, relatives, loyalists or even girlfriends,” added Dr Kimemia, who is also a member of WCNK.

Nairobi has 34, Kiambu has 28 in the list of 559 nominated MCAs

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