Former Kwale Woman Representative Zainab Kalekye Chidzuga is dead. Ms Chidzuga died at the Reliance Hospital in South C, Nairobi, at about 1pm yesterday.
Her son Hassan Chidzuga confirmed her death without giving details. The vocal politician was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Coast governors were among the leaders who mourned the politician. Chidzuga is the mother of former KTN news anchor Mwanaisha Chidzuga.
She is a former-long serving chairperson of Kwale Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation.
In 2015, Chidzuga (below), Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary and former Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro, and the then Kilifi South MP, the late Mustafa Idd, rebelled against ODM and joined Jubilee Party.
The three, however, lost their seats in the 2017 General Election. President Kenyatta described her as an ardent supporter of the Jubilee administration.
He said Chidzuga was a steadfast leader who helped uplift the welfare of women in Kwale County and across the country through her many initiatives. “The ugly hand of death has robbed our country of a highly influential grassroots mobiliser and a role model to many women. She was a passionate advocate of women empowerment whose achievements as an activist, legislator and mentor will continue shaping our country,” he said.
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya said Chidzuga was one of the leaders who inspired many women to take leadership positions. “Madam Chidzuga was among the first women representatives in the country,” Mvurya said.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho said Chidzuga was a true champion. “Hon Zainab Chidzuga always stood up to improve the lives of the people of Kwale,” Joho said.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said Chidzuga was a devoted leader who served wananchi with unmatched zeal, diligence and humility. “As a region, we have lost a very vocal and astute leader who rallied people of all ages and backgrounds to stand up and address historical injustices,” Kingi said.
Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari said they were making arrangements to clear the hospital bill. “The bill has accrued to Sh2.6 million,” said the MP.
Former Kinango MP Gonzi Rai, who was her close political ally, said he was in Nairobi just about to board a plane for Mombasa when he received the news.
“She was a good friend.”