As political mood creeps in and politicians begin positioning themselves ahead of the forthcoming 2022 general elections, he Isiolo County Government Public Service Board member ‘Mama Amani’ Lucy Mworia will take another stab at the Isiolo North parliamentary seat.
Mworia who contested as an independent candidate and lost narrowly has not lost hope and will be wrestling the seat from the incumbent in the next election.
“My vision for the people of Isiolo North has not been accomplished after I lost the parliamentary contest in 2017. I therefore want to ensure that I get elected to complete my mission,” said Mworia.
Mworia said her engagement in politics is self-driven motivated by the problems afflicting Isiolo residents especially in education sector
“A goal does not change but time frame might changes in that God’s timing is the best, am looking forward to winning this seat. Therefore I will be offering my candidature for the Isiolo North constituency Member of Parliament (MP) contest next year (2022) at the general elections,” said Mworia.
Mworia a US trained nurse, holder of Masters degree in Development studies (MDS) and Bachelors Degree in Leadership and Management who made history by being the first female contestant for Isiolo North parliamentary seat has called on the constituents and the pastoral communities in the Northern part of Kenya to give women a chance of leading them.
“Cultural issues have been made to believe that women cannot be leaders and can’t handle thorny issues. Like in Isiolo County, where there are cases of cattle rustling it is thought a woman does not have the capacity of rescuing and bringing back the stolen livestock,”
“What they do not understand is that when you are a Senator, Governor or MP, you are not a police officer to enforce law in acts of criminal activities occasioned by cattle rustling by running after the perpetrators of the vice. Sometimes people could be patriarchal thinking that there are only issues that can be solved by men especially the thorny issue of cattle rustling in Northern Kenya and North Eastern region,” she said.
The politician wondered that since time immemorial and after independence there have been leaders who have been elected to parliament but the cattle rustling menace has persisted for a long time.
“The cattle rustling menace is still an issue which if we went by that perception that it can only be solved by men it would now have been history as they have dominated elective seats since independence. I don’t think here is the question of who becomes the leader but it is the question of who becomes the right leader irrespective of being a man or woman,” she said.
Mworia said that the other issue that has made it hard for women from Northern Kenya and North Eastern region is that they don’t believe in themselves as they don’t come out afraid of what people think that it’s bad for as women who take up politics are considered to be bad.
“Another challenge illiteracy levels among the women of Isiolo County who did not get the opportunity of getting formal education due to poverty levels and their brothers being educated at their expense,” she said.
Mworia added that many more women will be left out if the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional amendment goes through where to contest for an elective political seat educational bar has set high where a Member of County (MCA) is required to have at least a degree to be eligible to contest.
The activist said trainings from the National Gender Commission, USAID, UN Women and other civil society institutions which have seen an improved participation of women in politics but still that vision has not been actualized and realized basing on the numbers.
She complained that women are usually not being involved in the formation of parties to be reduced into merely being party followers and serving the whims of the party owners in that they end up not being considered in decision making ending being left out in consideration of getting a party ticket to contest.
“In the last election I ended up running as an independent candidate because ODM which I thought I belonged as a member handpicked a candidate,” she said.
She said contesting as an independent candidate is not a bed of roses as some of the requirements were very much involving and needed huge sums of money.
“Many women do not have finances and even title deeds or properties which can be used as collateral or security when seeking for loans to finance their campaigns compared to their male counterparts. Women are at a disadvantage,” she said
Mworia asked women to seek for motivation and inspiration from other women who battled men and succeeded including Nakuru Senatur Susan Kihika, Machakos Senator Agnes Kavindu, Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru and the recent Samia Suluhu ascendency to the presidency as Tanzania’s and East Africa region’s first female president among others,” she said.