These are the women breaking new ground in Kenya’s politics. Some are rising stars who have gone from being household names to household names in a matter of months. Some are women who are poised to become leaders in their political party: a first-time politician; a woman in the shadow cabinet.
This series will be published on the day of each of Kenya’s new MPs’ first appearance, which is in late December.
Ochonu East Constituency
In her first speech as MP, Kwegyirah Nengiyu won the backing of the National Super Alliance (NASA), the coalition of opposition parties that won the parliamentary election in November, and will have an unassailable majority in Parliament.
She and Nasa MP, Margaret Chebukati, led a delegation to Ethiopia to seek support for the government’s anti-corruption policy, which has been challenged by President Kibaki.
Nyangi’s election is the first after the ruling Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KCHR-NC) concluded police were responsible in the case of missing MP, Wairimu Mwila. The KCHR-NC’s findings were the basis for the charges against the KNC.
The KNC has since been stripped of the powers of the KCHR. It no longer supervises government ministries, its powers being vested in the Prime Minister, who will make the policies.
The KNC’s powers were revoked after the defeat of the Kibaki government in the polls, and the KCHR’s powers are restricted to ensuring compliance with the Kibaki administration.
Nyangi is the first Nasa member to become an MP.
Ochonu West Constituency
Aged 35, Juthu Mathew is one of six new MPs, who have been elected along with her brother, Stephen Mathew, in this new electorate. Juthu, a business owner and founder and chairman of the Ochonu West District Board, has been in elected