More women elected to governor positions in 2022 polls

Form left; Nakuru governor elect Susan Kihika, Homa Bay governor elect Gladys Wanga and Kirinyaga governor elect Anne Waiguru [The Standard]

The proverbial glass ceiling continues to be shattered with more women leaders elected to the governorship positions in 2022, compared to the 2017 elections.

In 2017, there were only three women who were elected as governors, who included Charity Ngilu (Kitui), the late Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

The number has since increased in the 2022 polls.

So far, five women have been announced as winners in this year’s governorship polls and awarded certificates by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

They include; Kawira Mwangaza (Meru), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Fatuma Achani (Kwale) and Susan Kihika (Nakuru).

Kawira Mwangaza, an independent candidate, floored veteran politician Kiraitu Murungi (DEP) polling 209,148 votes against Murungi’s 110,814.  Mithika Linturi (UDA) came in second place with 183,859 votes.

Murungi, who is one of Kenya’s longest serving leaders, has never lost an election since 1992. 

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who was vying on a UDA ticket, retained the seat after clinching 113,088 votes against Wangui Ngirici's (Independent) 105,677.

In Homa Bay County, Gladys Wanga has gone down in history as the first female governor in Nyanza region after flooring former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.

Wanga got 244,559 votes against Kidero’s 154,182 votes.

The former Homa Bay Woman Representative takes over from Cyprian Awiti, who has completed his maximum two terms.

In Nakuru County, incumbent Senator Susan Kihika was declared the winner. 

Kihika of UDA defied the odds to defeat the incumbent Governor Lee Kinyanjui, after garnering 440,707 votes against Kinyanjui (Jubilee party) who got 225,623 votes.

Fatuma Achani of Kwale County became the first woman to clinch the seat in the Coastal region after ganering 59,674 votes. She defeated ODM's Hamadi Boga who came in second with 53,972.

Wiper Party's Wavinya Ndeti is leading in the Machakos governor race.

Though the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is yet to declare who has won, Wavinya's strongest competitor, former State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita, has already conceded defeat.