Three nominated MPs seek elective seats in August poll

Three of the five women MPs who were nominated by their political parties to the Eleventh Parliament are on the ballot and will be competing for seats in the same House in the coming election.

Two of the women clinched their parties’ tickets to contest the woman rep seats in their counties while the other is running for a constituency seat.

Ms Sarah Korere, who was nominated by the United Republican Party (URP) is in a tough battle for Laikipia North parliamentary seat on a Jubilee Party ticket.

OUTSPOKEN

The outspoken nominated MP will be fighting it out with incumbent Mathew Lempurkel of ODM and the two have been engaged in heated campaigns as Ms Korere seeks to oust the controversial MP.

But the story of Ms Janet Teiyaa who was nominated by President Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) is probably the most inspiring in the 11th Parliament.

The youthful MP who was nominated to represent interests of people with disabilities had beaten all odds to get to national parliamentary politics.

She went through a difficult childhood having contracted polio leading to physical disability, but that has not killed her dreams.

KAJIADO WOMAN REP

During the party primaries, the 34-year-old Teiyaa, who is running for the Kajiado woman rep seat clinched the Jubilee Party ticket and is now it’s flagbearer in next month’s election.

The MP aroused praise and admiration among party supporters when her name was called out at the Bomas of Kenya during Jubilee nominations for the Party’s presidential candidate.

She was called out as the proposer of the Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta.

She repeated the same during IEBC nominations when she was again bestowed the honour of proposing Mr Kenyatta as Jubilee’s candidate for August 8 poll.

Ms Zulekha Hassan Juma, who was nominated by ODM to represent interests of the youth in the National Assembly has used that opportunity successfully to seek an elective seat.

The youthful MP won the party’s ticket to run for the Kwale County woman rep’s seat where she is in a heated battle with Jubilee’s Zainab Chidzuga and says she is confident of winning the seat.

Here is a look at the candidates’ profiles.

Amina Abdallah

The Egerton University-trained environmental scientist has a special place in Parliament’s hall of fame.

Ms Abdallah, 49, is the first politician to be nominated to the House for three successive terms, which goes to show her mettle.

Articulate, and one of the best debaters in the 11th Parliament, she was first nominated to the National Assembly by Kanu, then chaired by Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, in 2003 and has served in the House ever since.

Mr Kenyatta’s TNA then nominated her in 2013.

Her last mandate in the current Parliament was as chairperson of a departmental committee where she successfully steered the enactment of laws such as the Mining Act, the Wildlife Act and the Petroleum Act.

Her three nominations provide a peek of how influential she is in political circles but she is unassuming about it.

Janet Marania Teiyaa

She lost her ability to walk at the age of five due to polio. Her father gave up on her but this did not kill her dream of getting education and prospering in life.

She has struggled and her efforts paid off, becoming the first girl to get education in Ilkilorit Village, Kajiado County.

This was only possible through the help of Grace King’atua, a social worker who took her in at AIC Kajiado Childcare Centre.

And with that, she started her journey to the top.

In 2013, TNA nominated her to represent people with disabilities and she is now Jubilee Party’s candidate for Kajiado woman rep seat after she won the party’s primaries.

Sarah Korere

The URP nominated MP has had a chequered political career since she first came to parliament in 2013.

Her baby was just about three weeks old when she was sworn in as a member of the 11th Parliament.

Born into a polygamous family, Ms Korere’s early life was a journey against adversity because her father did not believe in educating girls.

Catholic missionaries in Laikipia County came to her rescue, ensuring she got educated.

Her campaign to become the next Jubilee MP for Laikipia North has not been a smooth one.

It has been characterised by public altercation with her main rival, incumbent Mathew Lempurkel of ODM, as he tries to fight off the fearless and equally outspoken Ms Korere.

The latest and ugliest incident was a physical confrontation in the office of Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery at Harambee House, Nairobi.

Zulekha Hassan Juma

The 37-year old MP will be remembered for her proposal for the country to adopt a political system that would provide a rotational presidency to allow as many communities as possible to occupy the seat.

The MP has argued that this is the only way to address the high octane politics that accompany every election circle and with it election-related violence.

Her Bill to amend the Constitution never saw the light of day.

It had proposed that members from the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities be barred from contesting the presidency for up to 30 years.

The ODM MP, has been an advocate of the rights for both women and youth, bringing motions that sought the intervention of the government in funding the youth.

She is the ODM candidate for the Kwale woman rep’s seat.

Sunjeev Kour Birdi

She is the first Kenyan woman of Indian extraction to serve in Parliament as an MP and was nominated by URP.

She has been vocal about immigration and citizenship issues that saw her petition the National Assembly to investigate the backlog that has delayed immigrants’ acquisition of citizenship.

Her motivation, she says, is in part out of concern that there have been allegations of high levels of corruption at the Immigration Department.

Ms Sunjeev Kour Birdi, the first Kenyan woman of Indian extraction to serve in Parliament as an MP after she was nominated by URP in 2013. She is not contesting any seat in the August 8 election. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ms Sunjeev Kour Birdi, the first Kenyan woman of Indian extraction to serve in Parliament as an MP after she was nominated by URP in 2013. She is not contesting any seat in the August 8 election. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“The applicants are not only helpless but frustrated as a result of their delayed citizenship applications,” she said in August 2016.

The Jubilee Party legislator studied at Loreto Convent, Msongari before moving to DR College in India for a bachelor’s degree.

Her political life was conceived in distressful circumstances, in the wake of the Sinai oil fire tragedy at Mukuru Kwa Njenga in Nairobi which consumed over 100 lives in September 2012.

Until then, it had never occurred to her that her life would take a public path some day.

Ms Birdi is not contesting any seat in the August 8 election.

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