Nelson Havi: Mudavadi is a 'very slow', indecisive politician

Association wants Parliament dissolved for not crafting laws that would enable implementation of Section 27 of the Constitution
LSK petitions for implementation of gender rule

The immediate former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi has dismissed ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi as “very slow” and lacking leadership qualities in the latest bare knuckle attack of the man he calls uncle and a principal in the Kenya Kwanza coalition, which he subscribes to.

Mr Havi, who spoke as he promised to ensure that the two-thirds gender rule gets enacted in the first 12 months if he gets elected Westlands MP in the August 9, 2022 general election, said that Mr Mudavadi’s indecisiveness is the reason he abandoned him for Deputy President William Ruto.

Previously, Mr Havi was a member of Mudavadi’s ANC party before he switched to UDA of DP Ruto.

The two parties are members of the Kenya Kwanza alliance alongside Ford Kenya among others, supporting DP

Ruto’s bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August elections on the UDA ticket.

In an interview with Nation, Mr Havi described DP Ruto as a vibrant and focused leader who knows what he wants unlike his “uncle” who demonstrates a person without leadership skills and out of touch with reality.

“Mudavadi is very slow and embodies the kind of people who want to be pushed. He is not determinate and that is why I abandoned him,” Mr Havi said defiantly when asked why he chose DP Ruto’s party as opposed to Mudavadi’s.

Mr Havi has practiced law in the country for the last 19 years.

His departure from ANC may not have been taken lightly by Mr Mudavadi and his camp.

This may have led to Mudavadi’s ANC sponsoring a candidate- Ms Sylvia Mulama- against Mr Havi in Westlands constituency, in what may split the Kenya Kwanza votes in the area.

The splitting of votes in the area will be an advantage to the incumbent- Tim Wanyanyi of ODM that is in Azimio one Kenya alliance of Raila Odinga, DP Ruto’s main challenger in the race.

Mr Mudavadi is among the key campaigners of DP Ruto’s presidential bid in the Western region of the country.

“If you claim to be a leader but can’t see far, I mean, you are not a leader. You are something else,” Mr Havi, a man who goes by the moniker of an abrasive leader, said of the ANC leader in what would likely send Mr Mudavadi’s camp into a spin.

Key on Havi’s legislative agenda if he gets elected is to push for the enactment of the elusive two-thirds gender rule to actualize Articles 27 (8) and 81 (b) of the constitution.

The two Articles provide not more than two-thirds in appointive and elective positions in public bodies shall be composed of the same gender.

“If I fail to have this enacted within the first year of my election to parliament, I will vouch for the dissolution of parliament. If parliament is not dissolved, I will resign to cause a by-election in my constituency for which I will offer myself for re-election in the ensuing by-election,” says Mr Havi.

He says that he wants to go to parliament so that he can improve on the current poor quality of legislation churned by the House that he notes is largely executive driven among other selfish interests.

Mr Havi further observed that an MP must have minimum qualifications to serve the people and enhance the quality of legislation.

“You cannot be led by people who are fools. You also need to know that foolishness is not just eradicated by obtaining a degree from a University atop a traction,” says Mr Havi, noting that he was born a King and that things must be done in a certain way.

“An MP must be a person with a professional calling in which they have standards to evaluate.”

Mr Havi will also be pushing for the establishment of a Youth’s ministry through an Act of parliament with a “real fund so that we get the youths out of drug abuse and other social evils.”

The enactment of the two-thirds gender rule has been a difficult affair that not even the 11th and 12th parliament could not crack.

The law was required to be passed by 2015, five years after the enactment of the 2010 constitution but subsequent amendments to the fifth schedule of the constitution by the MPs, saw the timeline extended. 

Although there have been 10 attempts to enact and implement the two-thirds gender rule- either progressively or by top ups- through Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bills, only two of these found the way on the floor only to collapse at the debate stage.

The other Bills lapsed.

The Supreme Court advisory of 2011 provided that achievement of the two-thirds gender rule can be done progressively with the attainment period being August 2017.

In November 2018, an attempt to have the Bill enacted, aborted after the then leader of majority and mover, Aden Duale (Garissa Township) withdrew it at the debate stage.

This was after Mr Duale sensed that there were no enough MPs in the House to send it to the third reading stage.

The constitution provides that at least two-thirds majority or 233 of the 349 MPs in the National Assembly be present before such a constitution amendment Bill is voted for so as to proceed to the next stage- the third reading.

It was reintroduced in February 2019 but again failed at the debate stage due to quorum hitches.

Mr Havi was among the lawyers representing the civil society who petitioned then Chief Justice David Maraga to advise President Kenyatta to dissolve parliament for failing to enact the law.

In September 2020 the former CJ issued an advisory to President Kenyatta to dissolve parliament but the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) challenged it in court.

So how will Mr Havi navigate the muddy waters to have it enacted?

“Human beings require a leader. They require one determined sheep to go ahead and the rest will follow. For Havi, it’s either the way or the highway, especially when I am right,” he says.

“I will lobby, convince, debate and highlight the importance of enacting the two-thirds gender rule requirement.”

Mr Havi’s abrasiveness with the establishment is well documented.

In 2020, he singlehandedly confronted the dusk to dawn curfew imposed by President Kenyatta to check the spread of Covid-19 through a case he filed in court.

“I went to court for good order because we did not want a bad precedent to be set in the future, where the president can declare a curfew where in real sense there is no legal justification for it,” said Mr Havi.

Mr Havi has successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to amend the 2010 constitution.

Mr Havi has also challenged in court the rollout of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).

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