Three women ‘racing’ for Governor’s Seat in Nairobi

Of the 17 aspirants who have expressed interest in the race for the governor’s seat in Nairobi City County, three are women. In the primaries scheduled for January 9, Ms Agnes Kagure and Ms Betty Adera will compete against three men for the Jubilee Party ticket.

Mr Dennis Waweru, Mr Alex Kipchirchir and Mr Habib Kongo, as published by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on 4 January, are their competitors. Ms Phyllis Wangari Njuru is the only female candidate among the 12 candidates who compete as independent candidates.

Despite a decision by the High Court on Monday to suspend a mini-poll originally scheduled for 18 February, the Jubilee Party continues to prepare for the by-election. The court is to hear and determine the petition of former Governor Mike Sonko contesting his impeachment.

On December 3rd, the Nairobi County Assembly impeached Mr. Sonko for gross violation of the Constitution or any other law, abuse of office, gross misconduct and domestic law crimes. On December 17, the Senate later upheld the decision, prompting him to defend his position.

“Although the courts have spoken, we are preparing ourselves so that just as soon as the by-election is allowed to proceed, then we hit the ground running,” Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju reveals.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Mr. Peter Agoro notified the High Court that his petition challenging the appointment of Ms. Ann Kananu as deputy governor had been discontinued and withdrawn. In February last year, as a result of his petition, the court barred the Nairobi County Assembly from vetting Ms. Kananu, who had been nominated by Mr. Sonko in January.

For Kenyan women, it is no mean feat to rise to political power. Only one woman was elected in the by-election held last year.

Mini-polls were held for the positions of the Msambweni Member of Parliament and the members of the Dabaso, Wundanyi/Mbale, Kisumu North, Lakeview, Kahawa-Wendani and Gaturi County Assemblies.

But it was only in Gaturi, Murang’a County, that former NTV correspondent Ms Esther Mwihaki won the People’s Empowerment Party MCA seat.

In the 2017 general election, only 96 women against 1,334 men were elected to the 47 county assemblies, according to data from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Nine hundred women were vying.

While 267 men made it to the National Assembly, compared to 23 women, the parliamentary seats were contested by a total of 131.

Three of the nine women who sought to be governors succeeded, the late Dr. Joyce Laboso, Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Ngilu Charity (Kitui).

According to Nation Africa, only seven women, including Yulita Mitei (Nandi), Fatuma Achani (Kwale), Adelina Mwau (Makueni), Cecilia Mbuthia (Nyandarua), Evalyn Chepkirui (Narok), Susan Kikwai (Kericho) and Delina Mlagui (Taita Taveta), became deputy governors of the 47 counties.

Senate chambers were eyed by twenty women, but only three, namely Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu) and Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), made it.

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