Jubilee’s Ruweida Obbo clinches Lamu East MP’s seat

Ruweida Mohamed Obo alias Captain Lamu East MP

Ms Ruweida Mohamed Obo alias Captain who has won the Lamu East MP’s seat on a Jubilee Party ticket after garnering 5,498 votes.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

Voters in Lamu East constituency have for the first time in history elected a woman MP in the just concluded August 9 General Elections.

Jubilee Party’s Ruweida Mohamed Obo clinched the seat after mustering 5,498 votes in a hotly contested race that featured four candidates who including the incumbent MP Sharif Athman Ali of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Mr Sharif failed to retain the seat that he has held for two terms, having been elected for the first time in 2013 on a United Democratic Front (UDF) party ticket and re-elected in the 2017 General Election on a Jubilee Party ticket.

He later ditched the party and joined Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA party which is in the Kenya Kwanza coalition.

Mr Sharif garnered 4,633 votes in the results announced Wednesday by the Lamu East Constituency Returning Officer Stephen Karani at the Faza Secondary constituency tallying centre.

Mr Kombo Shekuwe Kahale alias Mwanati of the Kenya African National Union (Kanu) got 3,180 votes while Mr Mohamed Madhubuti of Wiper party garnered 1,632 votes.

Thanked Lamu East voters

Speaking after receiving her certificate from Mr Karani, Ms Obo, who has served as the Lamu woman representative between 2017 and 2022, thanked the Lamu East voters for trusting and electing her as their first female legislator.

She promised to serve her constituents diligently and ensure development is achieved in Lamu East.

“I was the only female contestant in this particular race but I wasn’t deterred. I knew the time had come for Lamu East constituency to vote for change. I thank all for believing in women’s leadership. I want to assure you that I will do all it takes to ensure Lamu East constituency attains the change you deserve in terms of development, education, security, infrastructure, health, water and fishing among others,” said Ms Obo.

Empowerment of women

She also promised to push for the empowerment of women, children, and people with special needs.

“My focus now is to bring change that we can believe in and trust. As the MP of this region, I will effectively address the issues of the most vulnerable people in our communities, empower people to take lead in informed decisions, and embrace public participation,” said Ms Obo.

During her political campaigns, Ms Obo had promised to create awareness on drug abuse which continues to affect many young people in Lamu.

Part of her agenda is to also fight for unity and peaceful co-existence amongst all the residents of Lamu East sub-county.

Residents congratulate her

Some of the residents interviewed by the Nation shortly after Ms Obo was declared the winner congratulated her for making history by becoming the first female MP in Lamu East.

MPs who have so far served in the constituency include Abubakar Madhubuti, Mzamil Omar, Abu Chiaba, Mohamed Salim Hashim all of Kanu, and the outgoing legislator Sharif Ali Athman.

“We’re really happy that finally, we’ve got a woman MP in our constituency. We’re confident with Ms Obo. She will bring more development to this place. We already tested her good leadership during her five-year term while serving as Lamu County woman representative,” said Mr Mohamed Omar of Faza.

Khadija Famau from Kizingitini said Ms Obo’s win is a clear indication that women can lead.

“She has given us the courage to seek elective positions in the future as women of this county. Yes, we can,” said Ms Famau.