6 top women leaders targeting Governorship positions in the August polls

There is a crop of bold women leaders have come out strongly to challenge their male counterparts for the coveted governorship posts.

Former Devolution Cabinet Secreatry Anne Waiguru will vie for the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat in the August elections.

The Kenyan parliament earlier last year rejected a bill seeking to entrench the two-thirds gender rule as provided by the constitution.

Despite this setback, a crop of bold women leaders have come out strongly to challenge their male counterparts for the coveted governorship posts during the August general elections.

6. Joyce Laboso – Bomet

The National Assembly deputy speaker has ambitiously declared that she wants to oust powerful Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto during the August general election.

Laboso is on record saying that she will seek to change the perception of council of governors as a "men’s club".

"I believe that I can make a difference in Bomet County so nobody should be deceived that I am working so hard to be anybody’s deputy," she said.

5. Ruth Odinga – Kisumu

Cord leader Raila Odinga’s sister has declared her intention to be Kisumu’s next governor, which is currently held by Jack Ranguma.

Odinga is also Ranguma’s deputy though the two have frequently clashed over differences on how the city is run.

Odinga, who is the chairperson of the Kenya network of women governors, has said that there is need for Kenya to have more women in elective positions and she will set the example and lead from the front.

4. Bishop Margaret Wanjiru – Nairobi

The bishop has joined an already crowded field of candidates in the race to become the next Nairobi Governor currently held by Dr Evans Kidero.

Wanjiru is on record saying that Nairobi County needs a mother as its leader and women have realised this and are tired of continually being marginalised from top leadership positions.

“Women want their own and this is the time. Nairobi needs a mother. Even men have realised this and want women to be leaders and are ready to support them,” she said last August.

She is in "Team Nairobi" in the Jubilee Party alongside other gubernatorial aspirants: Senator Mike Sonko, MP Dennis Waweru and nominated MP Johnson Sakaja.

3. Cecily Mbarire – Embu

The firebrand Runyenjes MP will seek to unseat the incumbent Martin Wambora in Meru on a Jubilee Party ticket.

Mbarire has called upon her male counterparts, who include Wambora, Management consultant Kithinji Kiragu and former Transport PS Cyrus Njiru to support her as she runs for the Embu Governorship.

She has already received backing from Senate Majority leader Kithuke Kindiki, Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi and other MPs from Embu County.

She has been in a bitter tussle with current Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti who recently decamped to Governor Alfred Mutua's Maendeleo Chap Chap Party fearing that the Jubilee Party nominations would not be free and fair.

2. Anne Waiguru – Kirinyaga

The former powerful Devolution Cabinet Secretary has declared that she will vie for Kirinyaga governorship position currently held by Joseph Ndathi under the Jubilee Party ticket.

In August last she announced at a press conference that she was moving from being a civil servant to being a politician.

“I am cut for the task, (governor) and with God ahead and the support of the people of Kirinyaga we will make it,” she said.

She will square it off with another woman leader, Martha Karua for the county's top seat.

1. Martha Karua - Kirinyaga

The race for the Kirinyaga Gubernatorial seat will pit two influential women leaders, Narc Kenya leader and former presidential aspirant Martha Karua and former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.

Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua has declared she will vie for the Kirinyaga governor’s seat during the 2017 General elections.

Karua has in the recent past joined forces with Cord opposition leaders in criticising the government especially in the clamour of electoral reforms which eventually sent the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners packing.

However, she could not resist the Jubilee Party tide in Central Kenya and though she has declared she will vie on her Narc Kenya Party, she has said she will support President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election bid come August.

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