KENYA: Kitui County Woman Representative Winfred Nyiva Mwendwa has announced her retirement from politics.
On Monday, Nyiva said that she will not defend her seat in 2017 General Elections in order to pave way for young and energetic successor.
Speaking in Kitui town during the launch of David Musila Foundation, the Woman Rep said she has served enough in politics and time to take break was prudent. The Foundation belongs to Kitui Senator Musila and his family.
"I want to declare today that I have decided to retire from active politics to do other business. I will not seek for any elective positions in the coming elections," Nyiva said.
Nyiva, 74, said she will now become an advisor and consultant where leaders will be seeking for her counsel in politics and family values.
Present during the launch included Musila, his wife Beatrice who is the Foundation's vice chairperson, MPs Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Marcus Muluvi (Kitui East), Bernard Kitungi (Mwingi West), County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich and Deputy Governor Peninah Malonza.
Before Nyiva's pronouncement, she angered the audience when she said she was just a "poor widow" who cannot support education of needy students from disadvantaged families.
"I cannot put my money in a project where I am in doubt I cannot earn profit. To invest in Kitui for instance is risk and expensive because of low income. I would rather do it in Nairobi," Nyiva said.
The widow of the first Kenyan Chief Justice, the late Kitili Mwendwa, Nyiva was the first Kenyan woman to serve as a cabinet minister.
She served as the Kitui West Constituency MP three times, in 1974 and 1992 representing KANU and in 2002 representing NARC.
Nyiva caused a national disfavour in 1995 when she travelled to women's conference in Beijing in 1995 and took a hairdresser as a part of her delegation. Mwendwa herself defended the decision by stating that being a delegation leader, she must take care of her appearance.
Musila dismissed some unnamed individuals who claimed that his Foundation was a political outfit to campaign for him in the next polls.
"Don't listen to the petty. I am an experienced politician who has other avenues to use as my campaign tool. Tell them I am not a fool," the senator said.
He said his Foundation will give scholarship to 40 university students from poor backgrounds for a period of four years.
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