Lenku’s Cabinet is unconstitutional, says Seneta

To meet the two-thirds gender threshold, Governor Lenku could give women the remaining three CEC positions that are held in acting capacities

As the debate on Governor Joseph ole Lenku’s controversial reconstitution of his Cabinet rages on, former Kajiado East candidate Mary Seneta says the purported reshuffling did not comply with the two-thirds gender principle.

Ms Seneta, who steered clear of the controversy of whether the new Cabinet ought to have been vetted by the County Assembly or not, said, “It is shocking to see a nine-member Cabinet, with only one woman.

“Whereas I congratulate the one woman [Jackline Koin, who was retained as a Minister for Agriculture], I want to really laugh off the exercise, and to state most unequivocally that it is an outright violation of the Constitution.”

She added that the governor is supposed to always be aware of the right of giving deserving women at least a third of any appointments he makes; and should not be reminded.

In his first term, Lenku’s Cabinet had twelve members, three of which were women; Koin, Esther Somoire (Health) and Florence Waiganjo (Water). In his latest reshuffle however, Ms Waiganjo was dropped, while Ms Somoire had earlier been announced to have resigned after she had allegedly landed a job at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

The other members are; Michael Semera (Finance), Hammilton Parseina (Lands), Alex Kilowua (new CEC Health), Jeremiah Ncharo (Education), Alais Kisota (Public Service), Dr Leina Mpoke (new CEC Water), Augustine Sekeyian (County Attorney) and Francis Sakuda the County Secretary.

Alvin Kimani was the County Trade minister, but was also dropped in the latest reshuffles. Three members were however assigned departments in an acting capacity, and if they are to be replaced by women appointees, then the Cabinet will have at least four women, hence meeting the one-third gender threshold.

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The UDA veteran also hit out at the County boss for allegedly denying women a chance for nomination in his ODM party, adding that, “this further proves that the governor does not appreciate women leadership, both in the party and in his Cabinet.”

“In Kajiado East particularly, he did not nominate women as per the slots of elected Members of the County Assembly.”

In the August 9 election, ODM bagged the Parliamentary seat and three Ward seats in the Constituency — Kaputiei North, Kitengela and Kenyawa/Poka — and were only awarded with one nomination slot; Mildred Milanoi Risancho.

Surprisingly, Kajiado South that only bagged the Parliamentary seat and one Ward seat, was given two slots, one for Jecinta Lepaiton and the other for Judy Komite.

In contrast, the UDA party that won two Wards seats — Imaroro and Oloorsikuon/Sholinke — awarded three nominations slots; Joyce Sunte, and Betty Mula, who is representing people with disability.

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