Turkana woman rep seeks to break barrier in MP race

Turkana Woman Representative Joyce Emanikor addresses journalists in Lodwar on May 31, 2022.

Photo credit: Sammy Lutta | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The Jubilee Party candidate was cleared on Monday by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for the Turkana Central race.
  • She said she relinquished the seat for other women after she realised no woman was interested in a mixed-gender parliamentary contest.

Turkana Woman Representative Joyce Emanikor is the only woman aspiring for a parliamentary seat in the county.

The Jubilee Party candidate was cleared on Monday by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for the Turkana Central race.

Ms Emanikor was first elected in 2013 on United Republican Party and successfully defended the woman rep seat on a Jubilee Party ticket. She said she relinquished the seat for other women after she realised no woman was interested in a mixed-gender parliamentary contest.

She said that through National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) and partnerships with various organisations, including the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa), she has been at the forefront of urging women to vie for all seats, including MCA, MP, senator and governor, as a way of ending patriarchy.

Only one woman was elected as MCA in the last general election.

"The sensitisation meetings that have also been involving elders are bearing fruit as many women have been cleared to vie for MCA. I took the bold step of going for the parliamentary seat to break the barrier of patriarchy so that my win may inspire more women into top leadership," Ms Emanikor said.

Agenda

She is confident of clinching the seat. She has promised to uplift residents and fight illiteracy by increasing bursary allocations and improving infrastructure in schools.

“I won't build new schools; we will improve infrastructure to meet the accepted standards that can attract children to school. We will ensure schools with no fences, toilets and teachers quotas are factored in," Ms Emanikor said.

“During my tenure, about Sh2 million has been an allocation for bursary for needy but bright students.”

Through NGAAF, at least 300 children have been benefitting from bursaries, with those taking technical courses getting full scholarships.

"NGAAF had fully funded a girl from Turkana who is now a pilot. We also have three girls who are engineers. Others are clinical officers and doctors now working in the county," Ms Emanikor said.

She said through National Government Constituency Development Fund, she will be allocating Sh10 million for bursaries to make a huge impact. The legislator said she expects Jubilee Party gubernatorial candidate John Munyes will clinch the seat so that through cordial working relationship they can partner to fight hunger.

"I expect to have a governor whom I can easily work with to address the perennial challenge of food scarcity. As a long-term solution to scarcity of food in the constituency, I will advise the county government on the potential irrigation farms like Kangatotha and Nadooto to be established or improved for food production," Ms Emanikor said.

Livelihoods

She adds that through the support of county and national government departments, as well as other development partners, she will promote commercial fishing in Lake Turkana by investing in beach management units to provide members with proper equipment and reliable market.

"I will also promote livestock trade so that herders earn from their livestock that are threatened by diseases and drought when kept in large numbers for prestige purposes," Ms Emanikor said.

She said she leaves her current office a proud leader, having empowered groups of women, youth and people living with disabilities. Trough table banking, more than 100 women have a revolving fund of 60 million, she added.

“We have constructed social halls for women groups that are being hired for meetings. Some groups opted for rental houses where they are getting monthly income while youth opted for resource centres," Ms Emanikor said.

She will face off against former Finance executive Namuar Emathe (UDA) and former Health Chief Officer Roberts Abok (ODM). Incumbent John Lodepe is the UDA gubernatorial candidate.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.