On May 16, 2022, Raila Odinga, one of the front runners in the August presidential race, unveiled a woman as his running mate, a declaration some analysts suggest has completely changed the political landscape in the country.
Karua's unveiling at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on the sunny Monday afternoon also made international headlines. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was among top international media houses that featured Karua in their bulletins.
Local women leaders, including those in the rival camps, took to social media to congratulate the 64-year-old, terming the appointment a no mean feat.
The Narc Kenya leader, to some, is a step away from becoming Kenya's first Deputy President, the second-highest office in the land under the 2010 Constitution. It was formally called the office of the Vice President.
Karua most likely to be Kenya's first woman Deputy President
If Raila wins the presidency in August, the former Justice Minister will become the first woman to occupy the office in the history of Kenya. This is majorly the reason why Karua's unveiling got a lot of attention both locally and internationally.
While naming Karua as his running mate last month, Raila called her “a fighter and not a quitter."
“History is calling us to produce our first female deputy president. This woman has a beautiful soul, as exhibited by her love for her children and grandchildren. She will make a great co-worker,” Raila said.
Famously known as the 'iron lady' for her role in fighting for democracy and human rights during President Daniel Arap Moi's regime, Karua has remained a fierce defender of social justice.
Notably, she became a magistrate at the age of 24 and went ahead to become one of the youngest female lawmakers in her later years.
She served as MP for Gichugu Constituency from 1992 to 2013 when she took a stab at the presidency, coming sixth in the hotly contested election.
On Sunday, June 5, her bid to become Kenya's first female deputy president received a huge boost after clearance from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to deputise Raila in the August polls.
Besides Karua, there are three other women who despite not receiving huge media attention, are keen to make history in the forthcoming presidential poll. The trio has been cleared by IEBC to be on the ballot in August.
We feature them below:
Justina Wambui Wamae
Wamae is running on a joint ticket with Roots Party's presidential candidate Prof. George Wajackoyah.
The duo has been vocal about legalising bhang if elected in August.
Wamae graduated from Daystar University with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
She first came to the limelight during the 2017 elections, when she unsuccessfully contested for the Mavoko parliamentary seat.
Wamae says she believes the bhang business will stimulate 'ailing' Kenyan economy.
“We want to put money in the pockets of all Kenyans through the returns we shall get from bhang exports in the international market,” she said in a past interview.
The businesswoman's name will be on the ballot alongside that of Agano presidential candidate David Mwaure Waihiga.
Little is known about her personal and professional life.