ODM has unanimously agreed to support the gender Bill, according to party chairman John Mbadi. Speaking to the press at parliament buildings ahead of a parliament vote for or against the Bill, Mbadi said the decision has been supported straight from the party’s top leadership. “The position of the party is simple, that we vote in affirmative,” he said. The Gender Bill, which seeks to implement the two-thirds Gender rule in parliament and increase women representation has drawn different views from leaders, and President Uhuru Kenyatta and former premier Raila Odinga and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka have urged MPs to support the Bill.
The Bill requires 233 MPs to be present for voting to proceed and ODM chairman Mbadi said they expect a full representation from ODM, with all MPs turning up to support it. He said party whipping should be clearly understood in Kenya, “In this country, we haven’t acquainted ourselves to party whipping, once a party has made a serious agreement, it makes sense in terms of democracy for all party members to support,” he stated.
He further said the gender principle isn’t a matter of conscience, and that matters of conscience come on issues that aren’t fundamental on the society, “In this case now we have matters so fundamental and so crucial, so important in terms of representation that it can’t be left to personal and individual discretion,” he said.