Just when I think that Kenyan politics can’t let me down any more than it already has, our elected troglodytes manage to surpass themselves.
Apparently, you can write a constitution, but change it when it doesn’t suit your purposes. So we have the dropping of the clause that a third of MPs should be female. I know! Crazy, right? Surely the women are too busy being helpmeets to their husbands to bother themselves with the ugly business of running around campaigning for votes.
So the good men of the cabinet have made a decision. It’s too hard! And it’s not boys wanting to keep hold of all of their marbles; it’s for the good of the country!
Analysts say the government fears that if parties are forced to reserve seats for women it will cause serious divisions in their ranks.
C’mon ladies! Don’t put yourselves forward for political office. Be reasonable. Do you want to trigger another civil war?
God forbid that the various parties shoudl actually seek capable and effective women from within their ranks! What’s that you say? Women are only effective at making tea for cabinet meetings. Well, hi! How are things back in the Middle Ages?!
Of course, in a meritocracy, women would rise to the top like cream no matter what the circumstances. But is Kenyan politics really a meritocracy? Honestly? Can you imagine the best possible candidate being able to represent their constituency without having to make themselves a hostage to fortune within the party-political process?
The boys’ club has always been sewn up, and when the constitution was being drawn up, lip service was given to letting the girls have a go. Now, with elections on the horizon, the boys suddenly realise that there will be less patronage to spread around if the girls have some reserved seats. so they vote for a constitutional amendment.
Do the voters of Kenya get a referendum?
Let’s wait and see.
[Image by dr.coop]