Ruto says men ready to have governor seats reserved for women

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 27 Feb, 2024 18:43 | 3 mins read
Women governors (G7) during the opening of Homa Bay Investment Conference on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. PHOTO/Wavinya(@ Wavinya_Ndeti)/X
Women governors (G7) during the opening of Homa Bay Investment Conference on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. PHOTO/Wavinya(@ Wavinya_Ndeti)/X

President William Ruto has floated the idea of reserving governorship seats exclusively for women, citing the notable performance of female governors in various counties.

Speaking at the Homa Bay Investment Conference held at Tom Mboya University grounds on Tuesday, February 27, Ruto noted that the suggestion which he is seriously considering was first put forth by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah highlighting the success of counties led by women governors.

"Of the three special economic zones issued to counties, two of them are from counties where women are Governors. Kimani Ichung'wah has told me we should seriously consider making these seats of governors a women's seat...maybe women can do a better job," Ruto remarked.

He also noted the request made by Council of Governors (CoG) Chair Anne Waiguru for a 30 per cent female representation in leadership positions.

"I don't know how Constitutional that is but Council of Governors (CoG) Chair Anne Waiguru has requested for 30 percent (female representation). I think the men were willing to consider the whole governors but since you have asked for thirty per cent we will go for that," Ruto stated.

Ruto offered his full support, urging voters to seize the opportunity to elect women into such positions.

"I want to tell the G7 our great women Governors that you have my support as you do the wonderful job that you are already doing. I want to encourage others, if you have a chance to elect a woman Governor, don’t squander that chance, elect a woman Governor," he declared.

Women governors for the win

In the general election held on August 9, 2022, a notable milestone was reached as seven women were elected as governors, marking the highest number of female governors since the establishment of the devolved system of government in 2013.

This achievement contrasts with the previous election in 2017, where only three female governors were elected, making history as the first women to hold county leadership positions since the enactment of the 2010 Constitution.

At that time, male governors numbered 44.

Among the pioneering female governors elected in 2017 were Anne Waiguru of Kirinyaga, Charity Ngilu of Kitui, and the late Joyce Laboso of Bomet.

However, the 2022 elections witnessed a significant increase in female representation, with three additional women surpassing their male counterparts to secure the top county positions.

1. Anne Waiguru - Kirinyaga

Governor Waiguru clinched a second term in office by triumphing over seven rivals in a tightly contested election.

Waiguru, who vied on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket secured victory with 113,088 votes, surpassing her closest competitor, Purity Ngirici (running independently), who garnered 105,677 votes.

Among the other contenders were Peter Gitau with 10,166 votes, Joseph Ndambi with 3,837 votes, Peter Ireri with 2,132 votes, Biden Kagai with 1,751 votes, and Sylvanus Ndau trailing with 532 votes.

Initially elected under the Jubilee party banner, Waiguru switched to the UDA in October 2021 amid internal divisions within the ruling party.

2. Susan Kihika - Nakuru

The UDA candidate overwhelmingly defeated former governor Lee Kinyanjui from the ruling Jubilee party to secure a position in the Council of Governors.

With an impressive 440,707 votes, the Nakuru Senator secured victory, leaving Kinyanjui far behind with only 225,623 votes.

3. Gladys Wanga - Homa Bay

The candidate from the ODM party secured victory over Evans Kidero, the former Nairobi Governor, to win the governorship of Homa Bay.

Known for her strong backing of Raila Odinga, Wanga attained 244,599 votes, surpassing the independent contender who received 154,182 votes.

4. Wavinya Ndeti - Machakos

After facing defeat twice before, Wavinya Ndeti clinched victory in the Machakos governorship race.

Running under the Wiper party banner, Ndeti secured 226,609 votes in a fiercely competitive contest with five contenders. Her closest rival, Nzioka Waita of the Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) party, garnered 129,181 votes in the election.

5. Kawira Mwangaza - Meru

Mwangaza, who ran on an independent ticket, floored incumbent Kiraitu Murungi and Senator Mithika Linturi, to secure the seat.

6. Fatuma Achani - Kwale

Achani, who ran on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket, emerged the winner with 59,674 votes.

ODM party's Hamadi Bodo emerged second with 53,972 votes in the closely fought race.

7. Cicily Mbarire - Embu

The former Runyenjes MP, who ran on a UDA party ticket, garnered 108,610 votes in a tight race against Lenny Kivuti who managed 105,246 votes.

Mbarire served as MP for Runyenjes from 2007-2017.

She was nominated to parliament under the special interest group after losing the 2017 polls.

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