Scholars to battle it out for Kisumu Woman Rep position
The decision by Kisumu Woman Rep Rozaah Buyu to run for the Kisumu West parliamentary seat has opened the way for several aspirants – most of who happen to be scholars – who are keen to inherit the position.
They include the current Kisumu County Minister for Lands Prof Judith Atyang, former Maseno University social science lecturer Caren Aketch, lecturer in management and economics at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology Dr Rose Kisia and secondary school teacher Valentine Otieno.
Seme MCA Sally Okudo also wants to upgrade to Woman Rep.
Before her appointment the position, Prof Atyang was a lecturer at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology and also a member of the Inter-governmental Relations Technical Committee.
Aketch is the chairperson of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Kisumu County branch and Kisumu County Red Cross chairperson.
Prof Atyang says that if elected, her main focus will be to fight for realisation of the two-thirds gender rule in the legislature and other public offices.
“I will push for gender parity,’’ she said.
Otieno, who has already resigned from secondary school job, hopes to tap into the youth vote.
She has been criss-crossing the country asking young people to register as voters.
“My appeal is to the young people to vote for young women of integrity who are keen address challenges of women in business,” she said.
Prof Atyang says she will be standing on the strength of her track record in the Health docket and loyalty to ODM leader Raila Odinga. “If you are consistent with who you are, you build trust- central to all relationships, whether personal or professional,’’ she says.
Akech wants to champion issues touching on women especially gender-based violence, childcare, pensions, gender equality laws and electoral reforms.
Women, she said, are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making.
Prof Atyang, who is yet to resign from her county job, has not officially launched her campaign.
“I will launch my campaign after I resign next month,’’ said Prof Atyang.
The number of aspirants is expected to rise when civil servants who want to join elective politics leave their positions next month.
“We need more women asserting their influence. Let all try their luck. Everyone for himself and God for us all, in this Azimio la Umoja coalition. Whoever wins should back the other,’’ said Buyu.
The Kisumu West seat is currently held by Olago Aluoch of Ford Kenya who has indicated that he will seek re-election on the DAP-Kenya party affiliated to Raila’s Azimio la Umoja.
Buyu ran for the Kisumu West seat in 2007 and 2013 but lost to Olago.
“Women must become comfortable with sitting on half the seats at the table, unafraid to be in power,’’ argued Buyu.
In the 2013 General Election, Buyu who had served at the now defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission, gave Olago a run for his money.
It was her second time contesting the seat and has confidence that she will trounce Olago who has served three consecutive terms, first elected on an ODM and twice on Ford-Kenya ticket.
Buyu vied for the Woman Rep seat in the 2017 General Election and won with a landslide defeating Rose Nyamunga who is now eyeing the Senate seat.