Omatata wants Supreme Court to shelve ruling on gender rule

Activist Okiya Omtatah wants the Supreme Court to review its decision that has placed an obligation on Parliament to enact the two-thirds gender rule. [Photo, File]

Two petitions have been filed in court after Parliament failed to vote on the contentious gender Bill.

In the first case, activist Okiya Omtatah and Nyakina Wycliffe want the Supreme Court to review its decision that has placed an obligation on Parliament to enact the two-thirds gender rule.

They want the court to vacate its early advisory rendered in 2012 that required the two Houses to put in place laws to ensure no gender had more than two-thirds in either house.

In the second case, a petition has been filed before Chief Justice David Maraga to have the Parliament dissolved for failing to enact the rule.

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Justice John Mativo last year gave lawmakers 60 days to debate and pass the law. 

“Therefore, your humble petitioners pray the honourable Chief Justice to advise the President to dissolve Parliament until it is in conformity with Constitution and is well constituted,” the petition filed yesterday read.

Certificate of urgency

Under a certificate of urgency, Mr Omtatah and Mr Nyakina have filed a notice of Motion application seeking to have the Supreme Court depart from its finding and holding in its Advisory Opinion No 2 of 2012 on gender rule.

Omtatah, who filed the application on Tuesday, says the Supreme Court had no capacity in law to reintroduce into the Constitution an issue the drafters of the document had deliberately dropped.

The court will, on Tuesday, give directions on the matter, as to whether it will grant him an audience and set a date for hearing of the matter.

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In the impugned advisory opinion, via the majority opinion, the Supreme Court determined that the implementation of the two-thirds gender rule was progressive.

However, the court set the August 27, 2015 deadline for the Attorney General and the (now defunct) Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution to enact required legislation to implement the one-third-to-two-thirds gender principle.

Omtatah says the advisory opinion has since been reinforced by two High Court decisions based on advisory threatening to disband Parliament if the so-called gender rule is not implemented.

ParliamentGender BillOkiya OmtatahChief Justice David Maragatwo-thirds gender ruleAttorney General