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More Ward Reps determined to climb next leadership rank

By , People Daily Digital
Friday, January 14th, 2022 08:30 | 2 mins read
Bibirioni MCA Jackline Nungari. Photo/PD/File

When Jackline Nungari was nominated to the Kiambu County Assembly 2013, she resolved to use the position to scale the political ladder.

In 2017, Nungari savored the fruits of her determination when she won the Bibirioni Ward seat in Limuru to became the only woman MCA in the county which has 60 wards.

She also became the second female elected leader in the county after her fellow former nominated MCA Wanjiku Kibe won the Gatundu North MP seat.

During the contest, she floored seven male rivals among them then incumbent Antony Macharia.

Nungari has now trained her eyes on the Limuru MP seat  which has not attracted women aspirants in the recent past. She will face off incumbent Peter Mwathi, former MP John Kiragu and businessman George Maara.

Win hearts

“The nominated positions are created, not only to help achieve the two-third gender rule but also to help women get into elective politics.

After you are nominated for one term, you should use the seat properly to ensure you win the hearts of the electorate so that they can reward you by electing you for a higher seat. That is what I am keen on,” Nungari told People Daily.

Nungari, who is contesting on the Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) party, which is associated with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, will be among the several women leaders who are eying constituency parliamentary seats in the county.

Others are Woman Rep Gathoni Wa Muchomba (Githunguri MP), Gatundu North MP Wanjiku Kibe, who is seeking re-election, former Thika MP Alice Ng’ang’a and former Ruiru’s Esther Gathogo as well as Damaris Wambui who will be making a second  attempt for the Kiambaa seat.

She hopes to follow in the footsteps of her three former nominated colleagues who won parliamentary seats notably, Kibe, Mary Waithira, who was elected Maragwa MP, and Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru.

Nungari acknowledged that the running for office is not easy, saying some competitors use insults and propaganda to embarrass her based on her gender.

“You wake up one morning and people decide to call you a prostitute forgetting that you are a mother and a sister to someone. Sometimes the male candidates will use your fellow women to advance their criticism of you but you would have to be determined and resilient,” she said.

Gladys Chania, a psychologist, who is also eying for Kiambu Woman Rep seat, and also former county coordinator for the defunct TNA said: “The nominations are meant to empower women politically, and the winners have used their posts to achieve the intended purpose. This is an assurance to the nation that the two-thirds gender rule can be attained through the elective process.”

Other MCAs who became parliamentarians during the same elections are Kilifi Woman Rep Gertrude Mbeyu (former Kibarani MCA), Mombasa Woman Rep Asha Mohamed, Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda, who was the Gem Central ward MCA, and former Keekonyokie MCA George Sunkuyia, who rose to become the Kajiado West MP.