What you need to know:
- Esther Nyambura Gathogo was first elected as Ruiru MP in 2013 on the defunct The National Alliance (TNA) party ticket.
- After losing in 2017, she is back to try her luck.
- She has initiated Mama Care, which provides free diapers to young mothers, foodstuff to the elderly, and sanitary towels to school girls.
Esther Nyambura Gathogo was confident of retaining the Ruiru Constituency parliamentary seat in the 2017 General Election.
She, however, failed to clinch the coveted Jubilee Party ticket in the party primaries.
Even though the outcome was disappointing, she took the loss in her stride and gave the winner time and space to work for the people.
Five years later, she has again thrown her hat in the political ring as she seeks to reclaim the seat.
Ms Gathogo who is vying on a Jubilee Party ticket, and using the ‘Mama is back’ slogan has been traversing the populous constituency selling her agenda to the people.
“I want to restore Ruiru’s lost glory and realise my vision which was cut short when I lost the seat. Little has changed since 2017 and the residents are disappointed with the current leadership. Many people have been asking me to vie for the parliamentary seat again; I have listened to their pleas and offered myself for leadership again,” says Ms Gathogo.
Mega water project
The former MP tells nation.africa that she sees the challenges the people are facing during her meet the people tours.
If elected, she hopes to among other things enhance women's economic empowerment, lobby the national government for a technical training institute, and a mega water project to alleviate perennial water problems in the area.
“Issues touching on women, youth and people living with disabilities have been relegated to the backburner; I want to reinstate them. People are suffering due to acute water shortage; I will lobby both the national and county governments to end the menace. I will also push for road projects to fix the dilapidated road network,” she says.
Prudent distribution of bursaries, expansion of the existing schools and establishment of news schools, she adds, will also be among her priorities.
Ms Gathogo boasts of initiating many development projects while she was MP, including the establishment of Kahawa Wendani Primary School, Kahawa Sukari, Membley and Wataalam police stations, among other notable projects.
Boda boda riders
She also takes credit for lobbying for the construction of Githurai-Mwihoko road and the construction of additional classes at Mwiki, Githunguri, Gatong’ora, Kwa Ng’ethe and Kihunguro primary schools.
Kihunguro Secondary School also benefitted from a laboratory during her tenure.
Through the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), Ms Gathogo says she oversaw the issuance of driving licenses to more than 1,000 boda boda riders across the constituency.
Last week, the former lawmaker took her campaign a notch higher when she launched the Mama Care Initiative, which seeks to use in addressing the plight of women, the elderly, youths, young mothers and people living with disability.
“As a leader, I had to come up with a plan to help deserving cases. We intend to reach as many people as possible,” said Ms Gathogo during the launch of the initiative in Kahawa Sukari.
The initiative, which has been rolled out in the eight wards within the constituency, will provide free diapers to young mothers, foodstuff to the elderly, and sanitary towels to girls in local schools.
Ms Gathogo says Mama Care will also pay the monthly NHIF (National Health Insurance Fund) contribution for the elderly to help them access medical services.
People living with disabilities are also earmarked to benefit from the initiative through provision of wheelchairs and other equipment they need. Each ward has volunteers to help with Mama Care implementation.
She will face off with eight other candidates including the incumbent Simon King’ara, in the battle for the seat. She is the only woman in the race.
Ms Gathogo’s political journey dates back to 2007 when she was first nominated as a councillor in the defunct Ruiru Municipal Council, where she later rose to become the deputy mayor.
She tried her hand in elective politics in 2013, clinching the defunct The National Alliance (TNA) party ticket to run for the Ruiru parliamentary seat and won, becoming the first area MP following the split of the former larger Juja Constituency into three electoral units namely Thika, Juja and Ruiru.
She holds a Bachelor Business Administration and Management from Zetech University.