Martha Karua


September 22, 1957




Politician, Lawyer


Has two children


Education: She attended several schools in her education journey. She started off at Mugumo Primary School, moved to Kabare Girls Boarding School and then St Michael’s boarding school in Kerugoya. For her O-levels, she first joined Kiburia Girls Secondary School, then Ngiriambu Girl’s Secondary School and Karoti Girl’s Secondary Schools where she sat her East African School Certificate. She then moved to Nairobi Girls' Secondary School for her A-levels. She graduated with a law degree from the University of Nairobi in 1980, followed by post graduate diploma in legal practice in 1981.

Legal career: She served as a magistrate in various courts in the 1980s until 1987 when she ventured into private practice until 2002. Ms Karua played a key role in the expansion of Kenya's democratic space and gender issues during the clamour for multi-partism in the early 1990s. She was among anti-establishment lawyers dubbed 'Young Turks' who stood up against the regime of late former President Daniel Moi and successfully pushed for the re-introduction of multi-party democracy.

As a lawyer, she represented human rights and political activists who fell foul of the Moi regime. Some of the sensitive cases she took up include the treason trial against Mr Koigi wa Wamwere and the late Mirugi Kariuki in the 1990s.

Political career: She was first elected as MP for Gichugu in 1992 and served until 2013 when she unsuccessfully contested the Presidency and finished in sixth position with 43,881 votes. Ms Karua has served as minister in the ministries of Water and Justice until her abrupt resignation after she fell out with late former President Mwai Kibaki in 2008. She was once known as the 'Iron Lady' of Kibaki’s second regime because of her reputation for being tough and her role in defending his government.

In the 2017 general election, she contested the Kirinyaga governor’s seat but lost to Anne Waiguru. She petitioned the High Court to nullify the outcome citing irregularities but lost again in the High court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She took the matter to the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, where she sued the government of Kenya for denying her the right to a fair trial. In her presentation in Arusha, she produced video evidence she had filed at the High Court of Kenya but was lost or stolen while in the court’s custody, but still went ahead to determine the election petition without investigating the issue.

The court found the Kenyan government culpable and awarded her Sh2.7 million in damages for infringement of her right to a fair trial.

Latest articles on Martha Karua:

  1. How Karua fixed my crown: From menial jobs to Kirinyaga assembly

    Caroline Wanjiku Muriithi is grateful that Narc Kenya leader held her hand without telling the world.

  2. Raila defies police boss, holds Murang'a meeting

    Murang'a's local police boss had said that the meeting was cancelled.

    Raila Odinga Mwangi wa Iria murang'a town hall meeting
  3. Azimio to resume demos after Ramadhan, Raila says

    He said even though the coalition supports ongoing talks, it will hold demos as dialogue continue.

    Raila Odinga
  4. Raila promises mother of all protests on Monday

    Azimio leaders engaged Nairobi residents on Thursday as they held stopovers in Imara Daima, Mukuru Kwa Njenga and Kware.

    Raila Odinga and Martha Karua
  5. Monday protests: Karua security agents released

    According to Dr Khaminwa, the arrest of the three men was illegal and its sole purpose was to intimidate Azimio leaders.

    Martha Karua
  6. Protests to take place Mondays and Thursdays: Raila

    Raila also claimed there was an attempt on his life and that of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

    Raila Odinga maandamano monday protests
  7. I'll work with President Ruto, Natembeya says

    Governor Natembeya adds he will not take part in Azimio protests.

    Governor George Natembeya at his office at the Trans Nzoia County Government headquarters in Kitale Town
  8. Karua to Ruto: I am not interested in your job offer

    Karua said she will remain in the Opposition keeping President Ruto's government in check.

    Martha Karua
  9. Raila's secret deal with Azimio governors

    Idea of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya principals naming a shadow cabinet does not go down well with many.

    Raila and Orengo in Naivasha
  10. Karua accuses Ruto of illegally pushing for GMO maize

    She questioned the rationale behind importing maize at a time when the local farmers are harvesting

    Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua
  11. Karua: I see the making of a dictator in Kenya

    Ending her hiatus from public view, Karua tells Kenyans that silence will only make dictators worse.

    Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua
  12. Ten Kenyans recognised as Africa's most influential leaders

    The women are at the forefront breaking barriers in their careers, business and life pursuits

  13. Unauthorized persons accessed IEBC systems, Karua tells East African Court

    Martha Karua has filed a petition at the East African Court of Justice challenging Supreme Court of Kenya judgment on 2022 presidential election case.

    Azimio la Umoja coalition running mate Martha Karua
  14. Mudavadi, Karua clash during Kakamega fete

    Ms Karua dismisses Mudavadi’s call for leaders to put the campaign mood behind and forge ahead to improve the welfare of Kenyans.

    Bishop Sulumeti
  15. Silvanus Osoro: The king of demeaning women

    Twitter user: Even if it's clout chasing, this is very disrespectful to all women

  16. Why Karua is yet to recognise President Ruto

    She said: “The law recognizes him (Ruto). But not me.”

    Martha Wangari Karua
  17. ‘Hot air!’ Karua retorts at Supreme Court’s full judgment

    The judges dismissed submissions by lawyer Julie Soweto on Jose Camargo as 'hot air'.

    Karua Koome


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