Three women are among 17 aspirants who have expressed interest in the race for Nairobi City County’s gubernatorial seat.
Ms Agnes Kagure and Ms Betty Adera will compete against three men for the Jubilee Party ticket in the primaries scheduled for January 9.
Mr Dennis Waweru, Mr Alex Kipchirchir and Mr Habib Kongo are their competitors as gazetted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on January 4.
While Ms Phyllis Wangari Njuru is the only female aspirants among 12 aspirants contesting as independent candidates.
Jubilee Party continues with its preparations for the by-election despite a High Court decision on Monday to suspend the mini-poll originally planned for February 18. The court is to hear and determine former Governor Mike Sonko’s petition challenging his impeachment.
Hit ground running
Nairobi County Assembly impeached Mr Sonko on December 3 for gross violation of the Constitution or any other law, abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under national law.
The decision was later upheld by the Senate on December 17, 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 told the Nation in a January 6 article.
Meanwhile, Mr Peter Agoro on Monday notified the High Court of his discontinuation and withdrawal of the petition challenging nomination of Ms Ann Kananu as deputy governor.
Consequent to his petition, the court, in February last year, barred the Nairobi County Assembly from vetting Ms Kananu who had been nominated by Mr Sonko in January.
It’s no mean feat for Kenya’s women to rise to political power. In the by-election held last year, only one woman was elected.
Mini-polls were held for positions of Member of Parliament for Msambweni as well as Members of the County Assemblies for Dabaso, Wundanyi/Mbale, Kisumu North, Lakeview, Kahawa-Wendani and Gaturi wards.
But it is only in Gaturi, Murang’a County that former NTV correspondent, Ms Esther Mwihaki won the MCA seat under People’s Empowerment Party.
In the 2017 General Election, only 96 women were elected to the 47 county assemblies against 1,334 men, provides data from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Nine hundred women had vied.
While 267 men made it to the National Assembly compared to 23 women although a total of 131 contested for the Parliamentary seats.
Out of the nine women who sought to be governors, three were successful, the late Dr Joyce Laboso, Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Charity Ngilu (Kitui).
Of the 47 counties, only seven women became deputy governors including Yulita Mitei (Nandi), Fatuma Achani (Kwale), Adelina Mwau (Makueni), Cecilia Mbuthia (Nyandarua), Evalyn Chepkirui (Narok), Susan Kikwai (Kericho) and Delina Mlagui (Taita Taveta).
Twenty women had eyed Senate chambers but only three made it, namely Susan Kihika(Nakuru), Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu) and Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo).