13 women cleared to contest by IEBC

More than 10 women candidates from Kakamega, Kisumu, Bomet and Lamu counties have been cleared by the electoral commission to vie for governorship, senate and constituency seats in the August 8 General Election.

Ms Mable Muruli, got the greenlight from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), to challenge Governor Wycliffe Oparanya for the Kakamega County gubernatorial seat.

Ms Muruli was unsuccessful in her attempt to contest the seat in 2013 after being locked out of the race on account of her academic qualifications.

The Senate seat has attracted Ms Carolyne Indasi of National Liberal Party. Ms Indasi joined politics after she retired from teaching.

The two candidates have already asked security agencies to ensure they are not harassed or intimidated as they conduct campaigns.

PEACEFUL CAMPAIGNS

They have equally asked the County Security Committee to deal firmly with those engaging in violent campaigns that could disadvantage women.

Women candidates have complained that they have been facing hostilities when going about their campaigns and wanted measures put in place to protect them.

In Bomet, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Joyce Laboso was cleared as Jubilee candidate for the gubernatorial seat. She will square it out with Governor Isaac Ruto for the seat.

Dr Laboso said if elected her government will be all-inclusiveness and that they will use funds allocated by the national government prudently.

The Deputy Speaker promised that her team will conduct peaceful campaigns devoid of violence.

Career educationist Dr Lilian Gogo also defied all odds to clinch the ODM party ticket for the Rangwe constituency.

She has subsequently been cleared to contest the seat by the electoral commission.

A lecturer at Egerton University, Dr Gogo is on the verge of making history by becoming the fifth elected female MP in Nyanza, a region where culture plays out against the female gender.

By clinching the ODM ticket, the dominant party in the region, one is almost guaranteed a win in a general election.

RUNNING MATE

“I have to mention to you that it was not an easy task to win that race. I had to fight hard amid threats and violence by my opponents. In some polling stations, my agents were even sent away but that did not stop my victory,” Dr Gogo, a Lecturer in the Department of Dairy and Food Technology at Egerton University said in a recent interview.

In Vihiga County, Ms Hellen Otolo, an independent candidate has been picked as a running mate of another independent candidate, Mr Josephat Amadi who was cleared on Friday.

Initially, Ms Otolo had thrown her hat in the race, as the only female gubernatorial aspirant in the county.

County Woman Rep Dorcas Kedogo will not defend her seat. She will, instead, contest for the Vihiga constituency parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket.

In Kisumu, three candidates were cleared. They are Joy Gwendo (Jubilee) for Kisumu East MP, Millicent Abudho (Ford Kenya), Kisumu senatorial seat and Atieno Otieno (Jubilee) governorship position.

Homa Bay Woman Representative Glady’s Wanga says she is happy with the number of women who had offered themselves for elective seats in Nyanza region.

“I am confident that more women will be elected this time round,” she says.

In Lamu West constituency, three women were cleared to contest in the August elections.

FARM

The three will battle to unseat incumbent Julius Ndegwa, who was cleared to run on a Safina Party ticket.

The women include veteran politician and former local government assistant minister in the Kibaki administration Mrs Betty Tett of the Democratic Congress Party.

The other two candidates are Ms Mary Immaculate Nyaga of NARC-Kenya and Ms Anastasia Mwangi who is running as an independent candidate.

Should one of the three women win, she will make history as the first female MP to represent the constituency.

Mrs Tett moved her political base from Westlands in Nairobi to Lamu where she owns a farm, during the last elections where she contested on a The National Alliance (TNA) ticket but was defeated by Mr Ndegwa.

Speaking to journalists Friday shortly after being cleared by the clearance certificate, the former nominated MP said her main aim of running for the seat is to fight the drug menace which has ruined the youth in the county as well as ensure creation of employment for them.

Holder of a Bachelors Degree in Political and Social Science from the University of Nairobi, Mrs Tett says she is confident of winning the seat, citing her political experience.

Ms Nyaga’s entry into politics is driven by what she terms as poor leadership from the incumbent, who is facing a corruption related case in a Mombasa court which touches on irregular transfer of some CDF funds.

The Narc Kenya candidate who hails from Mpeketoni and Hindi says if elected, she would ensure that an all inclusive leadership in the county, accusing the MP of failing to do so.

“I have been at the forefront in advocating for fair land distribution in the county since 2014. We have seen a few people coming up with ranches in the county and grabbing huge acres of land while rendering many residents as squatters. I want to eradicate poverty in Lamu West by ensuring equal distribution of resources including fighting for the landless,” said Ms Nyaga.

BALLOT

She added: “My leadership will be transparent and free of corruption. I want to empower the residents so as to enable them stand for themselves.”

Ms Mwangi who lost in her bid for the Jubilee Party Primaries to Abdul Kassim Ahmed, says she could not allow that loss to keep her off the ballot.

Having a Bachelors Degree in Health from La-Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and another Bachelors Degree in Youth and Community Development from Victoria University in Australia, Ms Mwangi says she is determined in ensuring she clinch the seat in August.

“I have been dealing with community social work and youth empowerment for many years. I know what our people in Lamu West are in need of. I want to ensure children acquire good education and improvement of the general health of our people. I want to also ensure key sectors like fishing, livestock and Agriculture are also improved,” said Ms Mwangi.

But Mr Ndegwa, maintains his confidence of getting elected for another term, saying he has done a great job since 2013.

He called on residents to vote for him for the second term so that he can complete the many projects that he has not been able to complete.

“We have set aside millions of shillings which I want to ensure they undertake water and road projects in Mokowe, Hindi and Witu. I am urging my people to vote for me for the second term to enable me

complete these projects,” said Mr Ndegwa on Friday shortly after he was cleared by IEBC.

Reporting by Derick Luvega, Benson Amadala, Geoffrey Rono, Rushdie Oudia, Samuel Kazungu.

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