Nyenze’s widow Edith edges closer to taking seat

The late Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze’s widow, Edith (centre) celebrates with her supporters after she won the Wiper party's ticket on January 16, 2018 to contest in the parliamentary by-election slated for March 26. [Photo by Paul Mutua/Standard]
Francis Nyenze's widow inched closer to inheriting his Kitui West parliamentary seat when she clinched the Wiper party ticket during Tuesday's nominations.

The constituency returning officer, Francis Kivindu, declared Mrs Edith Nyenze the winner with 13,388 votes against her sole opponent, Maluki Kitili, who got 2,663 votes.

The by-election is slated for March 26 and was prompted by Nyenze's death on December 6 last year.

Nyenze, who had been ailing, died barely three months after he was sworn for another term following the August 8 General Election.

Kitili is the son of former Cabinet minister Nyiva Mwendwa.

The nominations rekindled the political rivalry between the Mwendwa and Nyenze families that date back to the 1970s.

Mr Kivindu said 16,000 voters, out of 52,000 registered in the constituency, participated in the nominations, representing a 31 per cent turnout.

Edith, who was flanked by her two daughters, Ruth and Grace, shot up from her seat at Matinyani Maendeleo ya Wanawake Hall and joined supporters in celebrating the victory.

“God has spoken. The great people of Kitui West have spoken. And the message is loud and clear. I will be the next area MP," she said.

Worthy opponent

She added: "I thank all of you for this victory. I say thank you so much. And to those who voted for my worthy opponent, I humbly welcome you to join my team. Let us work together to achieve the best interests of all of us.

"This is your victory. We have won this first round of the race together. However, let us all remain focused because the journey is not yet over. A bigger battle awaits us on March 26, when I urge you to come out in large numbers and vote for me."

Edith announced her interest in the seat after her husband's death. “I have prayed to God, sought wise counsel, and undertaken self-evaluation for suitability to serve in the office of a member for Parliament. I have come to the conclusion that I have all the qualifications to be an accountable, effective, and visionary MP for Kitui West.”

She said she would focus on her manifesto that includes provision of quality education, water, and healthcare as well as empowerment of youth and women. She also intends to ensure better management of the environment.

"I have worked with the local community for many years. That is how I was able to develop this manifesto. I know the challenges we face."

kitui west by-electionwiper party nominationsedith nyenzemaluki kitili