October 19th 2017

Magazine / Gender Matters

Wavinya Ndeti's victory puts Machakos on path to producing Kenya's first woman governor

Ms Ndeti garnered 227,947 votes against Mr Kiala’s 4,508 in the repeat primaries conducted on Saturday as ordered by Political Parties Tribunal after the deputy governor contested the previous results making reference to the signed contract between Wiper and Ms Ndeti’s CCU.

By Rozzie MSunday, 07 May 2017 17:32 EAT

VICTORY: Ms Ndeti addresses the press after being declared the winner. (Photo: Rozzie M/Kenya Free Press).

Machakos gears up to get the first duly elected woman governor in the upcoming general elections after Wavinya Ndeti formerly of Chama Cha Uzalendo floored current deputy governor Benard Kiala in the just-concluded Wiper Party primaries.

Ms Ndeti garnered 227,947 votes against Mr Kiala’s 4,508 in the repeat primaries conducted on Saturday as ordered by Political Parties Tribunal after the deputy governor contested the previous results making reference to the signed contract between Wiper and Ms Ndeti’s CCU.

The difference wasn’t as big as some political leaders had insinuated from the previous exercise where Ms Ndeti got 299,312 votes whereas Mr Kiala managed only 4,663. The differerence in turnout could easily be attributed to the heavy downpour that impounded Ukambani region on the morning of the primaries.

According to CCU deputy party leader who is also Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi, the results are an indication of what is to be expected in August 8. “That Ms Ndeti can get above 60 percent of total votes cast means some other leaders competing against her should brace for defeat,” Mr Mwangangi said, terming Ms Ndeti as "a force to reckon with".

The results were announced minutes before Saturday midnight by Machakos Wiper Returning Officer Jacob Mutula. A certificate was handed over to the winner by the Wiper National Election Board chairperson Agatha Solitei who congratulated her and her running mate Peter Mathuki on their successful nomination.

Ms Ndeti, accompanied by her running mate and other political leaders including Mavoko MP Patrick Makau and Machakos Town MP aspirant Ulbanus Mutisya, thanked the people of Machakos for coming out in large numbers to vote for her. “I have the capacity to bring Machakos back to you, I will be your servant and I will ensure the tears you have shed due to impunity will be dried after you elect me as the next Machakos governor,” she said.

She promised to work closely with the other leaders to ring unity and progress in Ukambani and Kenya as a whole and end the regime of public funds looting. “I have not been nominated because I’m a woman but because the people of Machakos believe in me and believe I am the leader to rescue Machakos from corruption,” she said.

Ms Ndeti's nomination sets the stage for a fierce political battle between her, Dr Lemi Muia on Jubilee ticket and the incumbent Dr Alfred Mutua who is running on Maendeleo Chap Chap party.

However, barely hours after the announcement, an embittered Mr Kiala has now threatened to quit Wiper and pursue his political ambition through other avenues not clearly stated. In an email to Kenya Free Press, Mr Kiala expressed his displeasure in the entire execise, stating that it was not free and fair.

“I have started a process of pursuing my political interests outside Wiper details of which I will provide in due course,” read part of the email.

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