Governors, deputies should not be of same gender

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and her deputy Peter Ndambiri. BBI has proposed governors and their deputies should not be of the same gender. [File, Standard]
Counties could have more women as either governors or deputies after the next General Election if a proposal by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is enacted.

The taskforce has recommended that the running mate of every candidate for the position of governor be of the opposite gender.

The report was handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at Statehouse, Nairobi, yesterday.

This proposal means that more women would be at the helm of county leadership as either governors or deputies.

SEE ALSO :Hard choice lawyers in Senate should make

In the last General Election, only Ann Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and the late Joyce Laboso (Bomet) succeeded in capturing county seats that have remained male-dominated.

The country currently has eight female deputy governors, among them Evalyn Aruasa Chepkurui (Narok), Fatuma Mohamed Achami (Kwale), Susan Kikwai Chepkoech (Kericho) and Andelina Mwau Ndeto (Makueni).

Others are Caroline Karugu (Nyeri), Majala Mlagui Delina (Taita Taveta), Cecilia Wanjiru Mbuthia (Nyandarua) and Yulita Mitei Chebotip (Nandi).

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Gender rule

The clamour to implement Two-thirds Gender rule has for years been frustrated by MPs who have clearly indicated they will not support “donation of seats to women”.

SEE ALSO :GEMA’s views of the BBI

At the same time, the report seeks to hand over powers of appointing a deputy governor to county speaker in an event the governor has refused to replace a deputy within 90 days.

The report says that county speaker, with the approval of the Members of County Assembly, will appoint a deputy governor.

“Where a vacancy, for any given reason, occurs in the deputy governor’s office, and the governor fails to appoint a replacement within 90 days, the Speaker of the County Assembly, with the approval of the Assembly, shall nominate a deputy governor,” proposes the report.

Nairobi County has remained without a deputy governor for at least two years after Polycarp Igathe resigned in a huff.

Governor Mike Sonko has since then made several attempts at finding his replacement. He once proposed lawyer Miguna Miguna, who was rejected by the assembly. At another point, he picked women candidates for his Facebook followers to vote the best for the seat, a process that was not concluded. 

SEE ALSO :Raila's party abandons powerful PM's post

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BBIBuilding Bridges InitiativeGeneral Election