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David Mwaure: Seasoned lawyer, church leader who believes he fits the bill

Agano Party presidential candidate Waihiga Mwaure and running mate Ruth Mutua in Meru town on July 29, 2022,  where he took his presidential campaign. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Agano Party candidate David Mwaure Waihiga wants to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta as the country goes to the polls today.

Mwaure, formerly known as Mwaura changed his name due to what he describes as ‘spiritual reasons’ and has been a lawyer for 39 years.

Married to High Court Judge Justice Anna Ngibuiini, Mwaure talks of injustice having driven him to seek change.

If elected, lawyer Mwaure wants to end what he terms oppression and suppression.

His wife Anna, a daughter of the late Mathira MP Davidson Ngibuini Kuguru, who rose to be a minister in former President Daniel Moi’s government, bore him three children among them Citizen TV news anchor Waihiga Mwaura.

The lawyer has also adopted two other children who he fondly talks about.

Mwaure was born in 1957 in Maji Mazuri village, which is now in Baringo County, before later moving to Molo in Nakuru. He says he was privileged to have been born by a semi educated man who knew the importance of education and therefore took him to the best schools for him ‘to get better opportunities in life.’

“At the onset of independence, my father joined hands with other villagers and formed 42 brothers’ cooperative. They bought land through a loan in Molo where I joined and started my education,” said Mwaure.”

Quality education

His school life exposed him to different communities since he was transferred several times by his parents so that he could get the best education.

He started primary school at Mau Summit Primary school in 1964 where he schooled up to Standard Six and was transferred to Michinda DEB Primary School, which he said was known for discipline, good performance and athletics.

Mwaure sat his CPE in 1971 and joined Koelel High School in Gilgil (a Harambee school) but because his father wanted him to join ‘a full government school, he was transferred to Nanyuki in Form Two.

He recalls that 70 per cent of his teachers were Caucasians who had military background and were tough disciplinarians.

His leadership qualities started showing when he was elected the Christian Union chairman and eventually as the deputy school captain.

“Nanyuki High School had ragged boys but I used to pray for them. I had deep knowledge of scripture which I had acquired at childhood since I had been brought up by a Christian family who went to African Inland Church,” the third born in a family of 11 recalled in an interview with The Standard. He explained that the acquisition of leadership skills was largely attributed to him being the first born male having huge responsibilities in the family.

At Standard Two, Mwaure could sit with his neigbours and read them the Bible. This contributed to his being a prelate later in life.

After Nanyuki, Mwaure joined Kagumo High school in 1976 where he and two others broke an imposed caveat on students from the area who had been declared persona non grata in the school after a number of them were caught smoking.

“The principal was a tough disciplinarian. He had found one student who was from Nanyuki smoking. He declared that he could never accept a student from Nanyuki but due to my good performance and two others, we were accepted at the institution,” said Mwaure. Here, Mwaure pursued geography, literature and economics but added Kiswahili where he studied as a private student to assist him get the requisite grades to enroll for an undergraduate course in law.

Six of Kagumo students joined the University of Nairobi where he would meet the love of his life who was also pursuing law.

“We married three weeks after I got my first job of a State counsel while she was employed as a magistrate. I worked under former Chief Justice Benard Chunga and other current senior counsels like Waweru Gatonye,” said Mwaure.

He would later move out after a year and started working privately under other law firms.

“My father had wanted me to become a forest officer but my neighbour who was studying law made me develop the urge. At one time, my father was employed in a law firm and kept talking about law and that is how I ended up being a lawyer,” said Mwaure.

An ordained reverend at the World Changers Church, Mwaure  is not new to politics having unsuccessfully sought elective positions in the past, a move he said exposed him to the world of public service. He hopes to use the experience and political knowledge when he wins the presidency. In 2002, Mwaure unsuccessfully attempted to run for a parliamentary seat in Molo, his home area, and in 2007 he shifted to Kamukunji Constituency but luck was not on his side.

He first expressed interests in the country’s top job in 2013 but opted to first try his luck in the Lamu senate race where a branch of his law firm is based.

“I strongly believe that every dream is valid but in this year’s election, my crystal ball tells me that this is my seat. I did not just wake up and decide to vie for the presidency, it has been a journey,” Mwaure said. His main stronghold and constituency is the church and Mt Kenya region. 

Tribalism dilemma

“I belong to Mt Kenya and I’m their son. They should all vote for me since I will represent and protect their interests. Anyone claiming that we have been in leadership and we should give other people a chance is perpetuating the highest levels of tribalism,” said Mwaure.

To the church, Mwaure said: “I beseech the church not to give a brother who they can’t trust to be their Treasurer and remember that I’m part of the church.”

Top of his agenda should he be elected president includes increasing revenue allocation to counties to 40 per cent, designating 10 per cent of the 40 per cent to village councils to steer development at the local levels.

To the Kenyan workers, he has pledged a general waiver of 50 per cent Pay as You Earn (Paye), as well as a conducive environment for the private sector and small and medium enterprises to set up businesses.

His administration will verify all county and national government pending bills and convert them to government bonds. 

He will also enforce the Local Content Bill to ensure that all tenders below Sh1 billion are exclusively awarded to local companies.