Maraga, 69, is expected to leave office on January 12, next year, upon attaining 70 years as stipulated by the Constitution, and dissolving parliament would be one big drama that would feed his ego on his way out.
The fate of MPs has squarely been placed in his hands and that of President Uhuru Kenyatta after six petitions seeking dissolution of parliament over the flopped Gender Bill were filed before the CJ.
The Gender Bill which has collapsed four times on the floor of the National Assembly is a constitutional requirement that demands that not more than two-thirds of members of elective or appointive positions should be of the same gender.
One of the six highly emotive petitions was filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi who argued that parliament has blatantly violated the 2010 constitution by failing to implement the gender bill, 10 years down the line. “Article 261 (7) provides that if parliament fails to implement any court-ordered legislation to implement the Constitution, the Chief Justice will advise the President to dissolve parliament and the President shall dissolve parliament,” argued Havi.
In March 2017, the High Court found that the lawmakers had refused to implement the gender rule and gave them 60 days to comply with the constitutional requirement. The ultimatum, however, elapsed without any progress. A similar ruling had been delivered earlier in 2012 when the matter was determined by the Supreme Court after a protracted legal tussle. The apex court then gave parliament up to August 27, 2015, to pass the legislation. This did not happen.
The last time the controversial bill was tabled in the National Assembly for debate was in February 2018 but it collapsed after the House lacked the quorum, just like in the previous proceedings. Currently, 78% of MPs are male against the constitutional requirement of two-thirds or 67%.
Should the petitions be considered, then Speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate shall be required to file responses to the charges raised in the petitions within 14 days after which the CJ would advise the President on whether or not to dissolve the two Houses.
Other petitioners include Fredrick Mbugua, Margaret Toili, Bernard Aoko, Stephen Owoko and former Marakwet West MP David Sudi.