Alice Wahome, Mary Waithera poised to win seats in Murang’a

Murang’a County might have an equal representation of men and women in the National Assembly, if the four women who clinched the Jubilee Party ticket win in the August 8 General Election.

During the party primaries, voters sent home six sitting MPs but retained Kandara’s Alice Wahome while nominating two other women for parliamentary seats.

The new entrants are nominated MCA Mary Waithera alias Wamaua and former Chief Executive Officer of the Export Promotion Council Ruth Mwaniki, who are now poised to be the next MPs for Maragua and Kigumo constituencies respectively.

KAMANDE DEFEATED
Their nomination by the President Uhuru Kenyatta-led party, which enjoys popularity in the region, almost assures them of victory in August.

In the primaries, Ms Waithera of Maragua defeated four men including the incumbent Peter Kamande after garnering 13,753 votes against Kamande’s 9,594 votes.

But stiff competition still awaits her in the August elections in which she will face off with four independent candidates and Mr John Ndung’u, an Orange Democratic Movement candidate.

CRITIC
The independents are Mr Elias Mbao and Mr Anthony Chege who decamped from Jubilee after their defeat. Others are Mr Amos Mwanzia and Mr Sam Wairimu.

The former teacher contested for the woman representative seat in 2013 but lost to the incumbent Sabina Chege.

She was however nominated to the county assembly by The National Alliance party, which folded to form Jubilee.

As soon as she joined the assembly the nominated MCA marked her territory proving that she was no ordinary politician.

She was and is still among the most vocal ward representatives in the county, often fearlessly criticising Governor Mwangi Wa Iria’s administration.

GENDER PARITY
When receiving her Jubilee Party certificate, she termed the campaigns as tough, citing insecurity and financial constraints as her main challenges.

“We are living in a society where women are seen as inferior to men. Unfortunately, women have not accepted that other women can lead,” she said.

She hopes to push for civic education on the two thirds gender rule, if elected.

In Kigumo, the parliamentary seat was left open after the incumbent Jamleck Kamau joined the gubernatorial seat in a bid to oust Mr Wa Iria.

WAHOME’S WIN
Ms Mwaniki, a close ally of the governor, declared interest in the seat late last year but did not launch her campaign until February, after resigning from the council.

She clinched the party ticket with 13,608 votes after trouncing Joseph Munyoro and Francis Macharia Ben, who got 7,882 and 5,196 votes respectively.

She will face off with six independent candidates and Mazingira Party candidate Kamau Muchai.

In Kandara, Ms Wahome retained her seat after beating two former MPs Maina Kamau and Joshua Toro after she got 27,175 votes against Mr Kamau’s 18,406 votes.

Mr Toro, a former assistant minister in Kibaki’s regime, got 5,476 votes.

FOUR WOMEN
Ms Wahome was one of the few MPs who publicly supported her Kigumo colleague Jamleck Kamau’s candidature for the gubernatorial seat.

Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege also secured the Jubilee ticket in the primaries and will bring to four, the number of women MPs from the county.

She trounced former radio presenter Waithera Muitherania after garnering 211,639 votes against her rival’s 99,325 votes and Catherine Wanjiku alias Mama Sacco, who got 16,772 votes.

Ms Muitherania ditched Jubilee and will vie as an independent.

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