Team Embrace opposes bid to remove Woman Rep position

Embrace women leaders led by Wajir Women Representative during the Embrace leaders and Labour CS Ukur Yattani's visit to Wajir county. The team donated hospital facilities,donated foodstuff and cheques for women and youth groups from the region. [Elvis Ogina.Standard]

Team Embrace Kenya yesterday took its campaign to Wajir County where leaders slammed proposals to scrap the position of Woman Representative.

Scrapping of the seats is among proposals made by Thirdway Alliance party through its “Punguza Mizigo” initiative to amend the Constitution.

Besides reducing the number of MPs from 416 to 147, Thirdway Alliance also proposes the capping of monthly salaries for elected leaders to a maximum Sh500,000 for the President and Sh300,000 for MPs, as well as having the Senate as an Upper House with veto powers.

Those in favour of scrapping the seats argue that it would help cure the country’s hurting economy and reduce Government’s recurrent expenditure by 35 per cent.

Speaking at the Embrace tour of Habaswein in Wajir South yesterday, the women leaders criticised calls to do away with the seats.

Wajir Women Rep Fatuma Gedi defended the seat, saying there were major development projects women had implemented in their counties.

“Calls have been made to scrap the Woman Rep position by some politicians, but that will not succeed. We are here to remind those pushing the agenda to scrap the positions that they will not succeed,” said Ms Gedi.

Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi said there was need to increase the number of women in Parliament.

The team comprising legislators drawn from the Senate, National and County Assemblies, also vowed to support the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The women who have been moving round the country, said they would preach peace, love, unity and cohesion among the Kenyans.

Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga said they had agreed to work together to unite Kenyans under the umbrella of the handshake.

“As Embrace Mashinani, we stand for peace, love and unity. We have agreed to be together. That’s why we came here,” Ms Wanga said.

Kisumu Woman Rep Rosa Buyu said the unity between the two leaders had allowed peace to prevail.

The women leaders faulted area MP Omar Mohamed, who said Deputy President William Ruto should automatically take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta once his term ends.

Mr Omar said it was only fair for Jubilee to hand over the seat to the DP for the support he had given Uhuru in the past two campaigns.

“We in Jubilee know that after Uhuru Kenyatta, it’s William Ruto. That was the deal we had when we supported the President. We don’t know anybody else come 2022,” said the MP.

His remarks were, however, received well from speakers who instead urged the leaders to embrace the handshake.