Disabled Women Rep Rose Museo vows to end famine in Makueni County
By - | May 19th 2013
By LEAH GONDI-OGONDI
At a glance you might think Ms Rose Museo is physically fit, but beneath the disarming smile lies physical disability.
She walks on crutches after a fatal car accident in 2007 broke her thigh. But today, she is the Makueni County Woman Representative, on a Wiper Democratic Party (WDP) ticket after beating six rivals.
“It dawned on me one day that I am crippled when I was mocked by a short message I received on my phone that read: ‘Rose stop wasting your time and wait to be nominated as persons with disabilities,” she says with sadness.
During campaigns Museo never came out of her car since the leg was still painful and she could not support herself without a crutch.
But as opponents used her predicament to campaign against her, she got overwhelming support and one day left the car and confidently went to the podium to address a rally.
Today as she sits in the august House as a lawmaker, Museo plans to put in place programmes to change women’s lives.
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She plans to boost water harvesting techniques and ensure women and children know their roles.
“Cameras are very friendly during drought in Makueni, I want to turn it around so that the media can become friendly in reporting good harvest,” she says.
Museo’s political journey started in 1984 when the Government drove hundreds of residents of Kyulu hills from their homes.
“I was so disturbed by the scenes of children suffering from the scotching sun and lack of food, and their mothers going for days in search of food and water. I was moved to help them in their time of need,” she says.
This simple act of charity prompted residents to persuade her to join politics.
Thanks to the new Constitution, she is among the 349 legislators, in the 11th Parliament.
Museo is still trying to come to terms with her new status as a lawmaker from a director for women and children in Central Kenya Conference Church.
“I attribute this win to God. I knew deep down in my heart that God had reserved this position for me. Although I had no keen interest in politics, I never imagined I would find myself here so quickly,” she says.
The MP was at home in Kilome recuperating after surgery when over 600 supporters visited and declared their support for her to represent them in Parliament.
Museo, however admits that it will be a tough job proving to Kenyans that disability is not inability. But she promises to ensure that women remain self-reliant and vows to continue preaching.
The MP attended Aga Khan Primary and High schools in Mombasa where she participated in singing and cultural dances and even performed before late President Jomo Kenyatta.
She was later employed by Action Aid as a women expert focusing on programmes to eradicate poverty in areas like Turkana and Samburu.
The passion of helping women made her leave her senior position at Action Aid to become a social worker.
“I felt idle in my previous position because I was not achieving my goals of mentoring women. That is when I decided to ‘demote myself in a positive way’,” she says.
At her Kilome home, elated villagers thanked Wiper party for exercising democracy and supporting Museu.
The MP’s personal assistant Joseph Thuku says that they witnessed “true democracy and respect for the Constitution” through recognition of people with disabilities in the past General Election.
Museo, a staunch Seventh Day Adventist, says she will keep the sabbath holy and hopes to achieve her goal to empower women socially and economically.
“They say disability is not inability, but as you know my names mean a good flower, I know by God’s grace this flower will grow well and will represent Makueni without failure.”
She prefers to do most things herself including household chores and likes to bake during her free time.
Museo is a force to reckon with and she promises the people of Makueni that she will ensure development in the County.
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