Florence Mutua, the only woman in Busia governor's race
What you need to know:
- Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua, is eyeing Busia governor’s seat.
- She says there are people who still hold onto patriarchal perceptions that women cannot lead.
- A working healthcare system tops in her priorities.
Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua, best fits the definition of 'go for the skies even when the sun is broiling hell.’
Ms Mutua, a two-term legislator is eyeing Busia governor’s seat on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket. She is the only woman so far, to declare her interest in the seat.
She is a loyal member of ODM, currently serving as its Deputy Secretary-General. She will face off with five men including incumbent Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma and Nambale Member of Parliament John Bunyasi.
Others are Dan Mogoria, who recently resigned as chief officer for Education and Vocational Training to join the governor’s race, and former Agricultural Finance Corporation managing director Lucas Meso.
She has already been hit with the cultural baggage that she isn’t fit for the position. To her, it is a noise that cannot deter her from going for the executive seat in the county.
“There are those who still hold onto patriarchal perceptions that women cannot lead,” she says.
“It is time that people get over those retrogressive beliefs and attitudes against women,” she adds.
She says some of her opponents have even been calling on her party to refrain from supporting her.
The undeterred Ms Mutua says she is the best candidate for the seat for her track record can tell it all and the desire to serve her people moved her into contesting for the seat.
“Through National Government Affirmative Action Fund, I have managed to take back to school more than 1,500 girls who dropped out due to teenage pregnancy,” says Ms Mutua who currently chairs the parliamentary committee on education and research.
“I must say this is my heartfelt legacy. My first girl Mercy, just graduated. She had dropped out in Form One. Under my leadership, I have also taken back to school boys who dropped out for various reasons and my first boy is scoring As at Nambale Boys High School.”
Her development agenda is well laid out. A working healthcare system tops in her priorities.
“I will ensure the hospitals have good facilities and are well equipped with a motivated workforce. Our patients spend a lot of money going to other counties for specialised treatment while we can set up the same,” she says.
Under her leadership, early childhood development and education (ECDE) teachers will be paid well. She promises to streamline the ECDE sector to ensure the children have a quality foundation.
Her vision is to have every home connected with piped water, a dream she hopes to fulfil through a ward-level water programme.
“We must have a Busia water company to set up structures and help in this regard. A clean nation is a healthy nation,” she notes.
On infrastructure, she seeks to lobby for the expansion of the highways, as well as construction and upgrading of the rural roads to ease transportation of farm produce to the markets.
“The highways must have rider lanes to avoid many boda boda deaths in the county,” she says.
To create employment for the locals, her plan is to scout for investors to revive the cotton industry, which would then boost the county’s revenue generation.
Well, as she looks forward to her win, her hope is that more political parties can support women to get into elective politics.
She observes: “Political parties are where it all starts (for women).Parties have to break the patterns of exclusion and in ODM, we have realised the need of having women in the decision-making organ. (As such), ODM has a well-balanced national executive committee.”
“Parties must make a concerted effort in ensuring that women are given an equal landing if not a better one.”
In the August general election ODM targets the election of 15 female governors, 20 others as senators, and an equal number of MPs.
Ms Mutua is an alumna of Arya Girls’ Secondary School in Nairobi and has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Kenya Methodist University.
She is also a Master’s graduate of Project Management and Planning from the University of Nairobi.