From the US to Isiolo North; Mama Amani’s eyes set on Parliament

Lucy Mworia, Isiolo North parliamentary aspirant. She lost in two past elections, in 2013 and 2017.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Lucy Mworia is confident of clinching the Isiolo North parliamentary seat in the 2022 General Election.
  • Her immense contribution in ensuring peaceful coexistence among locals through advocacy, has earned her the name ‘Mama Amani’.
  • Despite losing twice in past elections, Ms Mworia is not giving up.

Go-getter, peace advocate, education and inclusion aptly describe Lucy Mworia, a politician who is confident of clinching the Isiolo North parliamentary seat in the 2022 General Election.

Her immense contribution in ensuring peaceful coexistence among locals through advocacy, has earned her the name ‘Mama Amani’ Kiswahili that means mother of peace.

Despite losing twice in past general elections, Ms Mworia is not giving up. She first vied for Isiolo Woman Representative seat in 2013, before trying her luck in the Isiolo North MP contest in 2017 where she emerged third.

“I have been persistent and consistent despite losing in the past two elections, I have continued to work with the community because I am yet to achieve what I want to do with the people of Isiolo,” Ms Mworia, who describes herself as a - leader, says.

Unemployment rate

Having been born and brought up in Isiolo, Ms Mworia says she understands the county residents’ challenges including high unemployment rate, illiteracy, poverty and insecurity; and feels she is the most suited to handle them.

An alumnus of Wabera Primary School, St Angela’s High School and Kaaga Girls in Isiolo, Kitui and Meru respectively, Ms Mworia is currently undertaking a Doctorate degree in Transformational Leadership at St Paul’s University. She also has a degree in Leadership and Management and Master’s Degree in Development Studies both from the same university.

The 58-year-old currently works at Isiolo County government as a member of the County Public Service Board, also has a degree in Nursing and a diploma in Vocational Nursing from Everest College Ontario and Maric College respectively both in the US.

It is while working as manager at Sonata Hospice in the US between 2011 and 2012 that Ms Mworia decided to return home and help in peace building among warring communities in Isiolo following perennial clashes that had claimed tens of lives and left several maimed.

“I came back and mobilised women from all the communities and we walked for 25 kilometres from Ngaremara to Isiolo town preaching peace; the situation improved,” she recalls.

Peace initiatives

With many families displaced as a result, she worked with other stakeholders to provide them with food and other necessities. This gave birth to Women for Peace and Development Community-based Organisation (CBO).

Through the CBO, she has sponsored the education of learners from across the county, spearheaded peace initiatives, and championed for empowerment of the minority and vulnerable groups.

The entrepreneur with investments in the hotel industry, has also organised and funded mega annual circumcision of street boys and helped them join school.

Ms Mworia has lessons learnt in her past attempts to political leadership and is keen to perfect on these as she tries her luck for the third time.

“There is need to strategize well and not to make politics personal as it is dirty. There are no permanent enemies here,” she says.

In a patriarchal society full of norms that prevent women from participating in politics, the aspirant says she does not think along gender lines. She observes that leadership is based on one’s capability and that men and women should be given equal chances.

Thick skin

Enduring harassment, betrayal and insults was initially a tall order for her but with time, she has developed a thick skin.

“It is very hard considering you have a family and name to protect. When seeking an elective post, one must be ready to be scrutinised and embarrassed, but I have taught myself to handle issues as they come, forgive and forget,” Ms Mworia stresses.

She draws her inspiration from the late Wangari Maathai and Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua.

During a recent separate interview with The Voice, Ms Mworia said women leaders were more transformative and that time had come for society to recognise benefits of this leadership.

Her track record and over 30 years’ experience in private and public sector, she says, prove that she is ripe to replace the incumbent MP.

She cites unfair distribution of bursaries and poor representation of the constituents as among issues she will address, besides empowering vulnerable groups and strengthening women groups (chamas).

Security issues

“If elected, I will constitute ward committees to help identify the neediest cases so that the NG-CDF pays bigger part of their fees,” she notes.

Ms Mworia says the incumbent has failed to articulate security issues in the Parliament despite the county facing incessant banditry attacks.

She is also passionate about child protection and insists she will spearhead formulation of policies safeguarding their interests if elected.

“I will also ensure we enrol as many youths to TVETs to deal with idleness and drug abuse that has ruined lives of many,” she notes, adding that her support to girls through provision of sanitary towels among other necessities, will continue.

She believes every leader must possess managerial and administrative skills, involve all, and offer guidance and solutions during crisis.

The ban on political and public gatherings has dealt her a huge blow, forcing her to resort to social media to popularise her political agenda.

“That is where we are selling our manifesto. Such difficult times call for desperate measures and we have to bear with the situation as everyone’s safety comes first,” the MP hopeful says.

She challenges women to seek elective posts in the forthcoming election, saying majority have shown outstanding qualities.

“My competitors should engage in peaceful campaigns and know that regardless of who wins, we all remain Isiolo people and peace is very important,” she appeals.

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