North Rift elects only three women MPs

Incoming Turbo MP Janet Sitienei, speaks after she was declared winner at Uasin Gishu High School in Eldoret town on August 11, 2022. 

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Three women have won parliamentary seats in the North Rift region in a male-dominated race.
  • Turbo MP Janet Sitienei  retained her seat.
  • Voters in Moiben Constituency elected Prof Phyllis Bartoo.
  • Former Chief of Staff in Deputy President William Ruto’s office Maryanne Keitany won Aldai parliamentary seat.

Three women have won parliamentary seats in the North Rift region in a male-dominated race where United Democratic Alliance (UDA) swept majority of the elective seats.

The trio won on a UDA ticket in a region where such seats have, for decades, been the domain of men.

This is an improvement from one female MP in the 2017 General Election.

Turbo MP Janet Sitienei (UDA) who defied the Jubilee wave in 2017 to be elected as an independent, retained the seat in Deputy President William Ruto’s home constituency.

She garnered 50,633 against her strong competitor Samuel Mugo who scored 25,950 votes in one of the populous constituency in Uasin Gishu County.

Voters in Moiben Constituency elected Prof Phyllis Bartoo (UDA) who was making her first stab in elective politics.

She got 40,892 votes against the incumbent Silas Tiren (Independent) who was out to make his third stab in parliament.

Prof Phyllis Jepkemoi Bartoo, winner of Moiben Parliamentary seat after receiving her certificate at Chebisaas Boys High School in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on August 10, 2022.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | nation Media Group

Mr Tiren who suffered the UDA wave in Uasin Gishu County scored 8,790 votes in the constituency with 77,877 registered voters.

Prof Bartoo has promised to offer fresh impetus to transform the agriculture sector that forms economic muscle of the local community.

“Agriculture remains our traditional source of income and food security. However, there is need to protect local farmers against unfair competition from cheap imports,” said Prof Bartoo after she was declared winner.

She is out to champion for the reintroduction of Guaranteed Minimum Returns (GMR) to cushion farmers from losses caused by natural disasters-drought and floods and create partnership with agriculturally based institution to transfer knowledge to farmers to increase crop productivity and earn better returns.

The former Chief of Staff in Deputy President William Ruto’s office Maryanne Keitany (UDA) won Aldai parliamentary seat in Nandi County, garnering 42,015 votes against the incumbent lawmaker Corneli Serem who got 13,309 votes.

Former Chief of Staff at the office of Deputy President Dr William Ruto, Maryanne Keitany won Aldai parliamentary seat in Nandi County.

Photo credit: File | nation Media Group

Mr Serem who was making his third attempt for the seat, contested as an independent candidate after he lost in UDA party primaries.

Ms Keitany will be the second female legislator to represent the constituency after the former Head of Public Service Dr Sally Kosgey, who was elected on an ODM ticket in 2007 General Election.

Aggressive campaigns

The female lawmakers mounted aggressive campaigns to overcome the hurdles of male chauvinism from the pastoral and conservative communities, to be elected to parliament.

“Male chauvinism and profiling remains our political shortcoming. We are, however, living at a time when injustice is no longer entertained,” explained Prof Bartoo.

Other women who have made it to parliament include Jessica Mbalu who was re-elected in Kibwezi East Constituency, Jayne Kihara-Naivasha (UDA) and Rachael Nyamai (Jubilee)-Kitui South who retained their parliamentary seats.

Mary Emase won Teso South parliamentary seat against form Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, while Wanjiku Muhia captured Kipipiri parliamentary seat against the National Assembly Majority leader Amos Kimunya.

Ms Agnes Pareiyo clinched Narok North parliamentary seat in the pastoral and conservative community.