Imagine working with your mother-in-law. This will be the case for a Nakuru family where three of its members will be serving in the County Assembly.
Grace Mwathi and her son-in-law Mwangi Ngarama have been elected as Members of the County Assembly (MCAs). Mwathi's first-born daughter, Lilian Mwathi who is Ngarama's wife, works as a clerk at the same County Assembly.
Mwathi will be representing Bahati Ward while her son-in-law Ngarama will be representing the neighbouring Lanet Umoja Ward.
Mwathi and Ngarama whose manifestos anchored on education, health, water, trade, agriculture and good roads were both elected on UDA tickets.
“I feel honoured by the trust the people of Bahati have bestowed on me to lead them for the next five years. It is even a bigger honour that my son-in-law has also been elected,” said Mrs Mwathi.
In the second county assembly of Nakuru whose tenure has just ended, Mrs Mwathi served as a nominated MCA by the Jubilee Party. She had vied in the 2017 general elections and emerged third.
“During the last five years, I have worked with my daughter at the Assembly where we had to interact as family and in official capacities. It was an exciting experience for us,” she said. To her, being elected as MCA is an indicator that their family has leadership qualities that the community has ssen.
“We shall be leading bordering wards which makes it even more exciting. I am confident that we shall deliver on the respective manifestos that we gave to the electorate,” she said.
She says in the last five years, she ensured she was not placed in the committees where her daughter was attached as a clerk.
“We shall do the same this time to ensure my daughter and her husband do not find ourselves in the same committee. During debates, we may differ but at no time shall I ‘beat’ my son,” said Mwathi.
On the other hand, Mwangi was first elected to the county assembly in 2013 to represent Lanet Umoja Ward. “At the beginning, my wife was the Personal Assistant to Susan Kihika who was then the Speaker of the County Assembly. She was later absorbed as a clerk,” said Mwangi.
With his wife’s appointment as a clerk, their interaction became official putting aside their nicknames as they met in different settings at the assembly.
“I only met with my wife on a few official occasions despite working in the same place. Whenever it happened, she had to refer to me officially and not as 'Mwas' since it had to be recorded on the Hansard,” said Mwangi.
With the three now in the same environment, Mwangi says little will change but he is optimistic of a successful term. “There will be times we are family and others as colleagues. I am expecting occasions when I will have to refer to her as Clerk Lilian and not my wife, her mother as 'Mheshimiwa Grace Mwathi' and not mom,” said Mwangi.