Mbadi whips ODM legislators ahead of gender bill vote

ODM National Chairman John Mbadi. [Photo, File]

As pressure mounts on MPs to pass the gender bill, ODM has urged its leaders to support proposed law that will be voted on in a few hours.

The party has a total of 79 MPs.

Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi today, ODM national chairman John Mbadi said the gender bill is a matter of compliance with the law.

Also in attendance was Saboti MP Caleb Amisi and Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris, among other ODM leaders.

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Mbadi said the issue of women's numbers in the House was initially articulated in the Bomas Draft but tampered with by people with little interest in women's development.

Following fears that legislators might abscond and torpedo the bill due to lack of quorum, the Saboti MP urged all ODM lawmakers to appear in Parliament and support the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

Mbadi added that party leader Raila Odinga, together with the Party Central Committee support the bill.

"It is not a question of greed; it makes democratic sense for all of us to support it," he added.

A tough-talking Mbadi seemed to be calling out MPs who are mulling skipping the afternoon session.

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"It's an important representation matter … we want a team that listens to the party."

Regarding concerns that the nomination option to increase women's numbers in Parliament will pave way for party leaders to nominate undeserving groups, Mbadi said there will be time to come up with solutions that solve flawed nominations.

"The method used by political parties today has challenges, but that can be addressed through the Elections Act, the Political Parties Act, or a new law for nomination," the party chairman said.?

Gender BillTwo-Thirds Gender Bill