Deputy Presidential debate: Martha Karua, a brilliant legal mind aspiring to form govt with Raila
Martha Wangari Karua is Raila Odinga's running mate on the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition party ticket. Together, they aspire to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in August.
Karua, a long-serving politician and an advocate of social justice stands out as one of the most qualified, fit and likeable deputies whose education and experience are evidently 'unmatched'.
The former long-standing member of parliament for Gichugu Constituency and an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya has been mentioned as one of the formidable female politicians in the country who have the ability to sway crowds in a particular direction.
Born on September 22, 1957, to her parents Josephine and Jackson Karua, the second-born in a family of seven began her education at St Michael’s Primary School before she proceeded to Kabare Girls Boarding School, Kiburia Girls Secondary School and later to Karoti Girls High School where she completed her basic education.
Having performed excellently at Karoti Girls High School, the former Minister of Justice joined the University of Nairobi to pursue a degree in law in 1977 before she enrolled for further studies at Kenya School of Law in 1981.
After her graduation, Karua became a magistrate operating in several parts of the country among them Nakuru, Kibera and Makadara, a role she held for six years before she went into private practice.
While practising law in her private capacity, Karua is remembered as having championed human rights and speaking against social injustice.
Karua later became a major critic of the country's second president Daniel Moi’s authoritarian government and in many instances fought the dictatorial rule of Moi.
In 1992, Karua who gallantly fought the one-party rule under Moi’s presidency became the first female Member of Parliament for Gichugu constituency under the Democratic Party of Kenya ticket.
She also held other leadership positions including serving as National Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Minister for Water Resources Management & Development, and Minister of Justice, National Cohesion & Constitutional Affairs.
The 2013 unsuccessful presidential aspirant is still an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the leader of Narc Kenya political party.
When she vied for the presidency, Karua emerged sixth, a trial that marked the end of her parliamentary position in Gichugu in accordance with the then Kenyan law.
She later came back to the arena in 2017 when she unsuccessfully vied for Kirinyaga County’s seat but lost to Anne Waiguru despite contesting the results in various courts.
While very scanty details are known of her personal life, Karua is a divorcee and a mother of two children named Wawira and Njoka.
Karua who hardly hides her age in public is said to be the best woman who possibly gives other women hope that they can become leaders at any level of government including the president should she rise to the highly-coveted position.
Women leaders have described her as a seasoned leader whose impact as the second-in-power would benefit the entire country.
She will, on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, be articulating Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition party's promises and manifesto at the Deputy Presidential debate.