Special Post-Election Issue
Issue Number 36 • April 2013
Losers in Kilifi County call for poll repeat Hostile environment …By Yusuf Amin
omen candidates in Kilifi County who lost in the just concluded General Election plan to challenge the outcome of the poll. The losers cite massive irregularities and insecurity which they say forced voters to stay away from the polls. A Senate aspirant with Shirikisho Party of Kenya Naomi Cidi who was defeated by Justice (Rtd) Stewart Madzayo complained that most voters kept away from polling stations due to insecurity in some parts of the constituency. Cidi singled out Chumani Primary School polling station where no voting took place after a gang raided the centre on the eve of the elections and killed police officers and other IEBC officials. “This sacred away voters and thus majority did not come out to vote for their leaders,” she explained. Cidi further said that more than five polling stations in Kilifi North Constituency did not conduct elections adding that this disenfranchised women candidates as some of the areas affected were their strongholds.
She said as women leaders they will challenge the outcome of the elections in court as they did not reflect the will of the electorate. She blamed the Police Service for failing to beef up security
deprive women chance in politics
in the affected areas which had already been perceived as Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) zones. The women aspirants also complained that ballot papers from various polling stations in Kilifi North were transported to Kilifi town without party agents accompanying them, thus creating room to doctor results. Sophy Kombe, a candidate for the Woman Representative position who got 33,343 votes asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to nullify the results for Kilifi County as they were marred by irregularities.
…By Valentine Atieno he harsh political climate in the country has deprived women of seats despite constitutional provisions that not more than two thirds of members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender. According to a research by the Adoption Pathways Project, women hold the key to food security and if elected in top leadership, Kenya’s dependency on relief aid is poised to reduce. However, despite Kenya recognising the need for women’s political and economic equality, there is still a lot to be done to sensitise the society that the global arena is changing and women too need to be included in leadership and decision making platforms. “We have had so many trainings for women aspirants and candidates to boost their leadership capability and to give them the courage to face the male counterparts in politics and to have a leader’s perception for their leadership roles,” said Zipporah Musau, Communication Officer, UN Women.
Her sentiments were echoed by Ether Kache who also contested for the Kilifi County women representative seat on a Chama Cha Uzalendo ticket. Kache protested that torn ballot papers were found around Kilifi North Constituency tallying centre at the Pwani University. Kache claimed that she was tipped by members of the public who found burnt ballot papers and reported the matter to the IEBC officials for investigation. Kache who lost the seat to Asha Jumwa Karisa (ODM) said that she recorded statements with the police and hoped that those involved in the vice will be brought to book. She said that she will challenge the election of Karisa who garnered 87,288 votes during the election citing massive irregularities.
Esther Kache displays a ballot paper marked in her favour but dumped miles away from the actual tallying centre. She was vying for Kilifi County Women Representative seat in a Chama Cha Uzalendo party ticket but lost. Picture: Yusuf Amin
Women account for a majority of the population in Kenya today and play a major role in national building. “We are going to ensure that our women candidates are empowered in the political arena to give them the responsibility to participate actively in decision making and that the women bring a different perspective into politics,” said Daisy Amdany, Chair National Women’s Steering Committee. Speaking at a forum organized by the UN Women in Nairobi that seeks to champion gender issues, the level of women representation in parliament is still very low. “The UN Women seeks to continue to empower women at different sectors of leadership, economic empowerment, violence against women and women as ambassadors in peace building and humanitarian response,” noted Musau.
The price of not electing women
Taxpayers must find additional Sh570m to pay the salaries and perks of nominated ward reps to meet the gender quota. …By David Herbling
axpayers will spend an extra KSh570 million annually on the salaries of nominated women county assembly representatives to meet the set gender quota. It has emerged that voters in more than half of the counties did not elect any woman to the county assemblies, and have to create a large number of special seats to meet the gender threshold set in the Constitution. The Constitution demands that not more than two-thirds of members of the county assembly can be of the same gender and special seats be created to meet the quota in the event that the condition is not met in the election.
The list of elected ward representatives that is awaiting publication in the Kenya Gazette shows that counties such as Mombasa, Marsabit, Kiambu, Kakamega, Baringo, Homa Bay and Embu did not elect a single woman to the county assemblies and will on average have to nominate at least 10 women to comply with the constitutional demand. Data from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) shows that none of Kenyas 47 counties elected enough women representatives to meet the one-third rule leaving nomination as the only way to meet the legal threshold. Failure to vote in at least 484 fe-
male candidates to make up a third of the 1,450 elected county representatives means that the Treasury will have to fork out half a billion to nominate women representatives.
“We warned Kenyans in advance that failure to elect women to the county assemblies will have serious financial implications,” said Micah Cheserem, the chairman of the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), in an interview with Business Daily. He added: “This is the price we must pay for ignorance so that we learn a lesson. It is a constitutional requirement so it has to be fulfilled.” The Commission on Revenue Allocation said that the gender requirement for county assembly had to be met immediately unlike that of the National Assembly and Senate which the Supreme Court said would be achieved progressively by August 2015. County assemblies are charged with the mandate of making laws and playing the oversight role over county budget and the county executive committee. They must approve individuals nominated by the Governor to be part of the county executive committee and pass legislation related to areas where the regional government has authority. The Constitution gives the county governments the authority to oversee entertainment, health services and public works such as sewerage, storm clearances, water and sanitation, pub-
lic transportation and issuance of trade licences. “A county assembly consists of the number of special seat members necessary to ensure that no more than two thirds of the membership of the assembly is of the same gender,” states Article 177(1b) of the Constitution. Cheserem estimates that about 600 women will have to be nominated to the county assemblies to satisfy the gender threshold — setting up the Treasury for a higher public service wage bill.
Ultimately, the failure to elect A woman being guided by an IEBC official on where to insert her ballot female representatives will cumu- paper. Kenya performed poorly in gender representation with some counties latively cost the taxpayer about not voting even a single women. Picture :Kenyan Woman Correspondent. KSh2.9 billion in remuneration the nominated candidates will have to lists presented do not comply with the of special members over a five-year be met from money allocated to that male and female representation quotas term. The Commission on Revenue Al- particular county,” said Winfred Li- as required,” said Lichuma at a press location reckons that counties that did chuma, chair of the National Gender briefing. There are a total of 1,450 elected not elect any women to the assemblies and Equality Commission. The commission has moved to the county representatives plus a further will spend more on salaries and allowances for the extra members, com- High Court seeking an order to com- 376 members made up of eight canpared to counties that elected a sizeable pel political parties to only nominate didates from each county to represent women to the National Assembly and the youth and persons with disabilities. number of female contenders. The additional nominated mem“This is money that could be chan- county assembly in order to achieve bers will be appointed by political parnelled to development of infrastruc- gender balance. ties in proportion to their strength in ture and service delivery,” explained the county assembly. Cheserem. “In the just concluded elections it For example, out of the 55 wards The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has set the basic salary is unfortunate that at the county as- in Nakuru County, only eight elected of a member of the county assembly at sembly level the one third gender rule women meaning that a further 16 must was not fully met and parties must be nominated to the county assembly KSh79,200 per month. “It is the taxpayer who will bear now nominate candidates to meet to meet constitutional requirement. Courtesy of the Business Daily. the burden because all expenses on the legal threshold. Unfortunately the