She came into the political limelight in 2007 as she spearheaded the then ‘Warembo Na Kibaki’ pushing for the re-election bid of retired President Mwai Kibaki.
A shrewd and articulate politician, youthful Jubilee Party candidate for the Gilgil Constituency, in Nakuru County, Ms Martha Wangari has ruffled feathers as her political star continues to rise. She nominated to the senate in 2013 by then Musalia Mudavadi’s United Democratic Forum (UDF).
Gifted with oratory skills and eloquence, Ms Wangari fought a gruelling political duel during the Jubilee Party primaries with her nemesis and Gilgil MP, Mathenge Ndiritu, before the bare knuckled battle ended up in the corridors of justice.
The nominated senator was declared the winner and her full focus is now on winning the seat, as she heads towards the finishing line in her quest to represent Gilgil in the National Assembly.
Assuaging bruised egos remains her immediate onerous task as the poll day beckons. Her opponents have been crying foul and have even vowed to floor the Senator come August 8, despite the area being a predominantly Jubilee zone.
Some of her rivals even took to the streets to protest her JP victory, but Senator Wangari maintains that she won clean and square and that she has, “a very clear conscience” regarding the win and is not looking back.
“I have taken a reconciliatory path and I believe we are headed in the right direction on this. All I want to see is a united Gilgil,” she says.
But the tactical politician, who hit the ground running on being declared winner of the contentious party primaries, remains the person to beat in the Gilgil parliamentary seat on August 8.
“I am confident of crossing the finishing line first, come the D- Day, with a very convincing margin. I am respecting all my competitors but I am also firmly on the steering wheel,” she says.
Her easy going nature and dynamism has endeared the youthful nominated Senator to the electorate and she says she is confident they would vote overwhelmingly for her.
The senator, a former university of Nairobi students leader, is also not shying away from articulating issues that she feels has made the area lag behind in terms of development.
Having withered many a storm to stamp her mark in the political arena, the Bachelor of Science-Statistics graduate, honed her skills at the Nairobi University becoming the Vice Chair (academic affairs) in the Students Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU-2006/2007).
RARING TO GO
She also served as the vice chairperson of the Organisation of Nairobi University Science Students (ONUSS 2005/2006).
“I cut my political teeth as a student and I am now polishing the artistry. It is still a learning curve, but as a go-getter, I am raring to go,” she explains.
A darling of the media and an astute debater, she has been on several talk shows articulating issues including on newspapers opinion pages, with finesse and is credited with many first including Bills and Motions in the senate.
She is credited with The Act that amends the County Governments Act (2012). It is in law that County Assemblies shall never again convene after a General Election until all the Nominated Members representing all the Special interest groups are gazetted as Members.
“This will see the Nominated Members of County Assemblies being sworn in same day with the elected colleagues as is the case with National Assembly and The Senate.
“This move will ensure women and youth nominated to these assemblies compete on equal basis with the male counterparts for leadership positions in the Assemblies.
“These include committee positions, minority/majority whips and leaders, deputy speaker’s seat. The bill is in its final stages before the Senate,” said the senator.
She promises to transform Gilgil into a “model constituency” after clinching the seat and has got all her development plan on her finger tips.
“There are priority areas that I want to concentrate on but have a comprehensive agenda on what needs to be done, including the provision of clean water if elected,” she says.
But before she actualises her dream, Senator Wangari will have to fight it out with and trounce Maendeleo Chap Chap’s Paul Gitahi Mwaura and Mwalimu Patrice Kiiru
The two are waiting to cash in on the Jubilee Party’s primaries fallout, to spring a surprise during the August 8, polls.
But Ms Wangari remains unmoved and maintains she has what it takes to comfortably clinch victory in next month’s elections.
Senator Martha Wangari on Friday became the first woman in the Senate to have a Bill she has sponsored signed into law.