Prepare for tough campaigns, Kihika tells women eyeing top seats

Nakuru County Assembly Speaker Susan Wakarura Kihika has challenged women to join the race for gubernatorial and senatorial seats in August 8 elections instead of waiting for nominations.

Ms Kihika said a country with more women in leadership is likely to prosper faster than the one dominated by men.

In the last elections that ushered in devolution, not a single woman was elected as governor or senator.

“As women, we must fight for top seats in the coming elections because these positions are not a preserve for men, some of whom are a big let-down as they lack leadership qualities,” said Ms Kihika who has thrown her hat in the ring for the Nakuru senator’s race.

Ms Kihika noted men are not willing to allow women take leadership and they must therefore fight for their space.

“For those who have declared their interest in various seats, you must prepare yourselves for the mother of all battles and a hostile reception from men,” she said.

She said women must believe in themselves before venturing out and only then will they get support.

She said she was able to control the male-dominated assembly because she believed in herself and was not a coward.

NOT INTIMIDATED

“I have been able to bring sanity in the male-dominated assembly. Even when there is chaos in the assembly I am not intimidated. I have always stood firm,” Ms Kihika said.

She said her decision to vie for the senate seat was driven by the urge to represent the interests of Nakuru residents and to make sure they get more resources from the national government.

“I am irritated every time I am asked by the residents who is the senator of Nakuru, yet we have a representative and it is this void I want to fill,” said Ms Kihika.

MISSING IN ACTION

Ms Kihika said the current senator, James Mungai, has been missing in action, claims the first-time legislator as denied.

She said top on her agenda will be to push for legislation that will compel multibillion flower companies and other State agencies to set aside funds to help spur development and create employment for the locals.

Ms Kihika said Nakuru is home to hundreds of flower firms that are making billions of shillings in profits while the workers are earning peanuts.

She noted that State agencies such as the Geothermal Development Company (GDC), KenGen and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) are using local resources but the residents are not reaping the benefits of having them in their county.

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