Barely two years after the 2017 General Election a fresh round of campaigns has kicked off in earnest, with various leaders among them women MPs putting together campaign machinery that would help them clinch their seats of choice.
Several MCAs are gearing up for parliamentary and senatorial contests while some Senators and MPs are preparing to contest in governorship elections.
At the governorship level, only Wycliffe Oparanya of Kakamega, Alfred Mutua of Machakos and Hassan Joho of Mombasa (both serving their last terms) have declared interest in running for president, with most first time governors seeking to retain their seats in 2022.
Of interest though is the increasing number of women legislators interested in vying for governorship positions in 2022. Below are some of them.
- Esther Passaris
The Nairobi Woman Representative has not publicly declared her interest in the county’s governorship seat, though insiders have attributed her latest onslaught against current Governor Mike Sonko to a meticulous attempt to tilt the scales to her favour.
Reports further indicate that Passaris is putting together a financial war chest that would give her the muscles to face off with Sonko who is expected to defend his seat. She is set to face, among others, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who is also interested in the seat, and Evans Kidero who is poised for a comeback.
- Purity Ngirici
The Kirinyaga Woman Representative has not concealed her intentions to topple sitting Governor Anne Waiguru at the helm of the county leadership. Mrs Ngirici kicked off her campaign for the governorship position almost immediately after Waiguru’s swearing-in, by launching a “parallel machinery” in the name of Ngirici and Sons Rescue team, which offered ambulance and fire fighting emergency services, as well as kicking off road construction and water distribution projects to rival those by the county government.
Waiguru’s waning popularity at the national stage, added to the scandals and controversies dogging her administration, has dimmed the little hope she had of becoming Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate in 2022, with the entry of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo into the fold making matters even more complicated for her. Should all factors remain constant, Waiguru will be left with no option but to seek re-election in 2022 or bow out of elective politics altogether.
- Mishi Mboko
From Mombasa Woman Representative to Likoni MP in just 10 years, the political star of Mishi Mboko seems to be rising fast. It is because of this that Mishi will be looking to try her luck at the governorship contest in 2022, after the departure of current Governor Hassan Joho.
Mishi Mboko, who is currently the only remaining vocal woman supporter of ODM leader Raila Odinga in the Coast region following the defection of Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa to DP Ruto’s camp, will be seeking to tap into Raila’s and by extension Joho’s support base, in the predominantly ODM county, to win the seat.
She is however set to face stun opposition from Deputy Governor William Kingi, County Assembly Speaker Harub Khatri and Mvita MP Abdullswamad Shariff Nassir all of who are gunning for the seat.
- Gladys Wanga
Homabay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga has reportedly put in place a campaign team to help her clinch the governorship seat upon the end of Cyprian Awiti’s term in 2022. In recent months, Wanga has increased activities on the ground and upped the scales on grassroots mobilisation to get the numbers she needs to win the race.
She will, however, be facing off with Homabay Senator Moses Kajwang and former Kasipul MP and the seat’s 2017 challenger Oyugi Magwanga who are also interested in the position.
- Cecily Mbarire
Mbarire is not a first timer in the race for Embu governorship seat, having contested for the position in 2017 but lost in the Jubilee nomination stage to the incumbent Martin Wambora. Wambora went ahead to defeat the then Senator Lenny Kivuti who had earlier decamped from Jubilee to Maendeleo Chap Chap.
Mbarire is currently a nominated MP, a seat he got automatically owing to her previous position as chair of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa).
The former Runyenjes MP is reportedly planning to use her previous campaign team that saw her lose to a seasoned Martin Wambora by a paltry 17,000 votes, with a few additions.
- Gladys Shollei
Gladys Boss Shollei has been out of the limelight since her election as Uasin Gishu Woman Representative in 2017. She has previously claimed that her style of politics is not of public relations and media shows, but silent engagements at the grassroots.
Shollei, a critic of DP Ruto, is said to be interested in replacing current governor Jackson Mandago upon his exit in 2022. He will face off with 2017 governorship election loser Bundotich Buzeki who recently decamped from Jubilee to Chama Cha Mashinani.
- Sabina Chege
Former media personality Sabina Chege is said to be gearing up to replace Mwangi wa Iria when his term ends in 2022. Chege a two-time woman representative is said to have been activating ground support systems in the various wards in Murang’a as she attempts to put in place a formidable team that will help her win the seat.
- Wavinya Ndeti
Though not a current MP, 2017 Machakos governorship election loser Wavinya Ndeti is preparing for another stab at the seat, after the exit of Alfred Mutua who is serving his last term. The former Kathiani MP, who was once a fierce critic of Mutua, has toned down on her attacks and seen to be backing Mutua’s administration with the hope that the former State House spokesperson will support her bid in 2022.
- Susan Kihika
Susan Kihika shot into the political world during her time as the Speaker of the Nakuru County Assembly in the 2013-2017 period. Her strictness and adherence to the rule of law in the face of greed and stubbornness from MCAs made her a household name, a factor that helped her win the Senatorial seat in 2017, becoming one of only three first women to be elected to Senate.
Kihika is also said to be interested in fighting it out with incumbent Lee Kinyanjui for the governorship seat in 2022.