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The Iron Lady: Martha Karua Turns 65

Martha Karua was Azimio's deputy flag bearer.

by Ramskie Duevela

A legend in the making is Kenya’s female politician Martha Karua who has been vocal during her  political journey. Born on 22nd September 1957, Martha Wangari Karua has been in active politics for  some time now and it doesn’t appear like she will retire soon. she has been a member of parliament for Gichagu constituency, serving for the longest time. she is also an advocate of the high court of  Kenya and a lawyer by profession.  Her political journey started around 1990’s after the country declared multiparty democracy. The Kenya National Union [KANU] was in power for the longest time under the tutelage of deceased president Moi. Karua would then form NARC Kenya , they would later win the 2002 general elections with Mwai Kibaki being declared the winner. Martha was the first Kenyan woman to be elected into parliament.

Fast forward to 2013, constitutional  reforms could not allow Karua to vie for the Gichagu parliamentary seat, she was forced to vie for the presidential seat. At this time William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta joined hands to form the Jubilee Party from their respective TNA and URP respectively. Uhuru Kenyatta would win the elections ahead of his rival who became ally , Raila Odinga. Martha Karua emerged 6th at this time gathering only 43,881 votes. The opposition party disputed the elections.

come 2017, Martha Karua would then face it off against Anne Waiguru in Kirinyaga County, a contest that Karua lost narrrowly as she garnered 122,091 votes with Waiguru winning the gubernatorial seat with 161,373  votes. She challenged the results in court but lost at the high court and the supreme  court.

In 2022 this year, Azimio La Umoja one coalition announced Martha Karua as their deputy presidential flagbearer while Raila Odinga was announced as the presidential flagbearer. The team that had blue as its sole color would have slogans like ‘ mama na baba tosha’. political campaigns witnessed exchange of words with both camps, the Kenya Kwanza and Azimio La Umoja being the horses to watch in the race to statehouse. After Kenyans voted and elections were announced by the country’s chief returning officer Mr Wafula Chebukati, Martha and her team together with four IEBC commissioners led by the vice chair Ms Cherera declared the elections as null and void moving to court to challenge them.

The supreme court unanimously upheld the IEBC’S results and Ruto was declared president in a peaceful election outcome. As Martha Karua turns 65, Kenyans await her next political move. We wish the ‘iron lady’ a happy birthday.

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