New Era Of Women Sweeping Kenya's Top Positions

Women are setting the stage for the next generation of politics.

New Era Of Women Sweeping Kenya's Top Positions
From left to right: Susan Kihika, Beatrice Elachi, Gladys Wanga and Anne Waiguru. /VIRALTEAKE

A number of women have secured some of the country's most lucrative positions against the odds, heralding a new age whereby women are setting the stage for the next generation of politics.

Fatuma Achani became the latest woman to secure a top role after she was voted in as governor for Kwale County garnering 59,674 votes against ODM candidate Hamadi Boga who racked in 53,972 votes.

She becomes both the first UDA candidate to win a gubernatorial election in the area and the first-ever woman to be elected governor in the Coast region. She is currently the Kwale Deputy Governor and will take over from her boss Salim Mvurya, who completed two terms.

Independent candidate and incumbent Woman Representative, Kawira Mwangaza was elected as the new Meru Governor with 209,158 votes.

Mwangaza caused a major upset as she handed incumbent Meru Governor, Kiraitu Murungi his first election defeat in over 30 years. Murungi amassed 110,850 votes and was third, behind Senator Franklin Mithika Linturi of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) who got 183,859 votes.

Susan Kihika and Tabitha Karanja. /VIRALTEAKE

Nakuru County set an unprecedented milestone by becoming the first county to elect at least one female leader at every stage of governance, starting from the governor to the Member of the County Assembly (MCA).

The leadership now consists of a female Governor, a female Senator, a Woman Representative, four Women Members of Parliament as well as several MCAs.

Newly elected Nakuru Governor, Susan Kihika caused an upset in the county by unseating incumbent, Lee Kinyanjui, preventing him from securing a second term in office. The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate garnered 440,707 votes against Kinyanjui's 225,623 votes.

"Thank you to the great people of Nakuru County for giving me a resounding mandate to be the 3rd Governor.

"It is a huge privilege and honour with great responsibility. I will give it my all, and together we will get it on the path to economic prosperity and make it work for all!" Kihika stated. 

Around the same time the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared her the winner, Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja was declared the county's senator, beating the likes of John Mututho, by garnering 442,864 votes against his 36,432 votes.

In the parliamentary races, Jayne Kihara retained her Naivasha parliamentary seat after garnering 44,882 votes against her competitor John Kihagi who got 24,891.

Newly elected MP Irene Njoki snatched the Bahati parliamentary seat from Kimani Ngunjiri with 34,308 votes against Ngunjiri's 26,809 votes.

Martha Wangari bagged the Gilgil Parliamentary seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket with 35,363 votes against her closest rival Mathenge Nderitu who trailed with 19,764 votes.

Charity Kathambi defended her Njoro Parliamentary Seat as well as Liza Chelule who retained her Woman Representative seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket. Several female MCAs were also elected to represent wards in the Nakuru County Assembly.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru retained her seat, beating independent candidate, Purity Ngirici by over 7,000 votes. Waiguru got 113,088 votes against Ngirici's 105,677 votes following a dramatic scare that saw the two women clash over rigging claims at the county's tallying of votes.

Former MP Alice Ng'ang'a (UDA) recaptured the Thika Town parliamentary seat, by beating Bishop David Gakuyo of Jubilee.

Ruth Odinga, the sister to Azimio leader Raila Odinga became the Woman Representative-elect for Kisumu County. Odinga, running on an ODM Party ticket, garnered 304,419 votes with her closest competitor Valentine Anyango of the Movement for Democracy and Growth Party managing only 80,117 votes.

Gladys Boss Shollei of UDA successfully defended her Uasin Gishu Woman Representative seat.

ODM's Beatrice Elachi secured the Dagoretti North Parliamentary seat.

She won the seat after securing 52,515 votes beating her closest competitor Elijah Oenga who got 13,620 votes. She was previously the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker before she resigned in August 2020 after she was at the centre of protracted power battles with MCAs.

On February 19, 2021, Elachi was appointed a Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga was declared the governor-elect for Homa Bay County, upsetting former Nairobi governor Dr Evans Kidero, who has since vowed to challenge her victory in court.

"The win was illegitimate. We won. Violence was meted at our people, Form 37As were changed from original ones to replaced ones, a lot of illegalities and election malpractices occurred and I do not recognize that win.

The will of Homabay people has been subverted, it has not been respected, they voted for me," Kidero said.

Collage image of Gladys Wanga and Evans Kidero. /FILE

Results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) showed that Wanga had overcome her competition with 244,559 votes, while Kidero trailed with 154,182 votes. Wanga led in seven out of eight constituencies in the county, while Kidero led in Homa Bay Town constituency with a 2,000 vote margin.

Kidero becomes the first candidate to vow to challenge IEBC's results in court while Wanga became the youngest female governor and the first governor in the Nyanza region.

Other notable women mentions

IEBC declared Amina Mnyazi of ODM as the elected Malindi Member of Parliament (MP) after garnering 21,634 votes. The second woman after outgoing MP Aisha Jumwa to occupy the parliamentary seat emerged as the winner after beating seven men in the race.

Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda retained her seat after being declared the winner with 15,855 votes. 

UDA's Mary Emase won the Teso South parliamentary race, after polling 18,059 votes, beating Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong.

Millie Odhiambo retained her Suba North parliamentary seat with 27,130 votes against her closest competitor James Akali who got 18,151 votes.

Machakos gubernatorial candidate Wavinya Ndeti is on her way to victory after Former State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita conceded defeat, despite alleging voter fraud.