Nairobi, KENYA: A Kenyan citizen will have to bear the brunt of a tax increase of six (6) shillings annually if the two third gender rule sees the light of the day on Tuesday.
Speaking in a meeting convened by the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) and National Gender Equality Commission, Institute of Economic Affairs chief executive Kwame Owino, said the cost implication of the two-gender Rule Bill schedule for the second reading in parliament on Tuesday will cost a common mwananchi 6 shillings to the minimum and 10 shillings maximum on his annual tax, which translates to 1.5 percent of the total parliamentary budget of37.579 billion.
Owino argues that, if the bill is passed, two more women will be required to join the Senate and 22 others join national assemble to meet the threshold of 98 that is required by the constitution.
Currently, there are 76 women representatives in the parliament which is less the number required by the constitution of 98.
He explained that the two slots in the Senate seat, the net cost per member will be sh 840,000 minimum and sh 980,000 maximum which comes to sh 23,520,000 million annual costs.
For the remaining 22 seats in the national assembly, the net cost per member which is sh 840,000 minimum and sh 980,000 maximum, will cost the house sh 258,720,000 annually. This will boil down to 0.882 total cost/parliament spending 2018/19(%).
He said this means, the total cost/total public spending 2018/19(%) 0.00973, that translate down to 6.414 total cost per citizen annually.
According to Priscilla Nyokabi a member from National Gender Equality Commission (NGEC), alluded that the principal objective of this bill is to amend the constitution to ensure that the membership of the National Assembly and the senate conforms to the two-thirds gender
principle provided for in Article 81(b) of the constitution.
BILL WAS REJECTED IN 2016
“The bill seeks to give effect to the two-thirds genders principle through the creation of special seats that will ensure that the gender principle is realized in parliament over a period of twenty years from next general election. It is hoped that by that time, both genders
will have been given a level playing field and will be able to compete on an equal plane,” Nyokabi Said.
In May 2016, MPs rejected the bill despite intense lobbying by women parliamentarians and various party leaders.
The bill was supported by a paltry 178 members, far below the required 233 votes. out of the 180 MPs present,16 voted against the bill while five did not vote.
As many as 150 MPs out of the 349 did not show up.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked MPs to pass the Bill “to pave way for women to rise to top government positions as well as bring an end to the gender imbalance.