Murang'a women lose a seat in the National Assembly

Murang'a County women have lost one legislative seat in the National Assembly following the defeat of Kigumo MP Wangari Mwaniki.

Ms Mwaniki (Jubilee) lost to Joseph Munyoro of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in Tuesday’s voting. She was third, garnering 8,810 votes against Mr Munyoro's 27,213.

After the 2017 General Election, the county ranked top in the country with 42 percent of women parliamentarians.

Of the seven constituencies, Kigumo, Kandara and Maragua helped the county achieve the two-thirds constitutional gender requirement.

But the UDA wave that swept the Mt Kenya region this year dislodged Ms Mwaniki, with her two colleagues surviving by aligning themselves with the favourite party for area voters.

Ms Mwaniki said she was looking forward to serving residents in other ways. She said she was optimistic that the incoming MP would serve constituents selflessly.

"There comes a time when we are told to take a break. When that moment comes, we dutifully proceed. Mine is to wish the people of Kigumo all the best as they chart a new path in their aspirations," she said.

Ms Mwaniki got into trouble with voters for frequently hosting Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga in Kigumo.

At one function in Kangarí, she declared: "I have worked with Mr Odinga and in 2013, I served in his party nominations directorate and I am more of ODM than I am Jubilee. It is only that I wear a Jubilee hat."

Kandara MP Alice WAhome.

Kandara MP Alice Wahome. She has retained her seat.

Photo credit: Pool I Nation Media Group

She also supported the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) when most of the area’s voters opposed it.

To pundits, it was a matter of time before she was punished at the ballot box.

Another notable person defeated in the Kigumo parliamentary race was Zack Kinuthia, who resigned as chief administrative secretary in the national government to venture into politics. He ran under the Party of National Unity (PNU). He was second with 10,543 votes.

Ms Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Mary Wa Maua (Maragua), who were re-elected, will now team up with Betty Maina, the new Woman Rep who has succeeded Sabina Chege. 

Ms Chege did not vie for any seat, saying she was concentrating on rebuilding her career by campaigning for Mr Odinga.