TOUGH BATTLE

Omanga, Kwamboka among six in fierce battle to unseat Passaris

They are seen as frontrunners and have already embarked on grassroots campaigns.

In Summary
  • Passaris is facing stiff competition from nominated senators Beatrice Kwamboka (ODM), Millicent Omanga (UDA) and former MCA Wambui Ng'ang'a. 
  • Others in the contest are ANC's Sylvia Mulama and actresses Ali Iptisam Zeid and Dorea Chege.  
Nominated senator Millicent Omanga speaking to residents and small traders at Motherland and Eastleigh First Avenue, Kamukunji Constituency, Nairobi County on January 12, 2022.
Nominated senator Millicent Omanga speaking to residents and small traders at Motherland and Eastleigh First Avenue, Kamukunji Constituency, Nairobi County on January 12, 2022.
Image: DPPS

At least six aspirants have declared their interest in Nairobi Woman Rep seat in a tough battle to unseat Esther Passaris.

Passaris is facing stiff competition from nominated senators Beatrice Kwamboka (ODM), Millicent Omanga (UDA) and former MCA Wambui Ng'ang'a. 

Others in the contest are ANC's Sylvia Mulama and actresses Ali Iptisam Zeid and Dorea Chege.  

Passaris, Omanga and Kwamboka are seen as the frontrunners and have already embarked on grassroots campaigns ahead of party nominations in April.

Omanga,39, is hoping to clinch the seat she lost in 2017 to Passaris.

Popularly known as "Mama Mradi", Omanga was born in 1982 in Kisii county and is from a family of seven siblings.

The nominated senator has worked in fields such as interior design as the founder and CEO of Milways Enterprises, a company dealing in construction, interior décor and import of furniture.

Omanga has never shied away in attributing her success to Deputy President William Ruto, who she says lifted her from hawking and made her a public figure.

In 2013 , she was appointed director of the Kenya Electricity Generating Company which Omanga said the DP played a role.

The senator once chaired Ruto’s United Democratic Movement party (later URP), before it merged with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA party to form the Jubilee coalition.

In 2017, Omanga was eying the Nairobi Woman Rep seat but lost to Gender CAS Rachael Shebesh in the hotly contested Jubilee party primaries and ended up being a nominated Senator.

Five years down the line and now under UDA party which is associated with DP Ruto, Omanga is determined to make a second stab at becoming Nairobi’s Woman Rep.

ODM boss Raila Odinga with Wangui Ng'anga at KICC
ODM boss Raila Odinga with Wangui Ng'anga at KICC

Wangui B

Also in the race to unseat Passaris is  Bernadette Wangui Ng'ang'a. 

Wangui who is in her late 30s,  a wife and mother of two daughters, was  born in Thika and later relocated to Thome with her family. She went to Daystar University for her studies.

Popularly known as Wangui B, the aspirant first joined politics in 2013 as Nominated MCA at the Nairobi County Assembly under the Jubilee party.

In 2017, with her campaign pledge prioritising on women's issues, Wangui declared interest in the Nairobi Woman Rep seat but narrowly lost in the Jubilee nominations.

Last year, she made a comeback in politics where she hailed the proposed amendments in the Building Bridges Initiative, saying it will bring more opportunities to women and youths.

With the general election around the corner, Wangui is ready to battle her way through ODM primaries for the Woman Rep position.

She reiterated her commitment to bring change and transform women through initiating development projects and supporting existing women groups.

Last December, the aspirant received a major boost after ODM leader Raila Odinga hinted at endorsing her for the top position.

While meeting over 5,000 women from Mt Kenya who reside in Nairobi at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Raila backed  Wangui’s political ambition.

He hailed her as a visionary and courageous woman leader who deserved to be in a top leadership position in Nairobi county.

Wangui has already hit the ground and has joined the Azimio la Umoja campaign train to ensure the former premier clinches the presidential seat.

She is currently the organising secretary of Azimio la Umoja in Nairobi.

Nominated Senator Beatrice Kwamboka
Nominated Senator Beatrice Kwamboka
Image: MZALENDO TWITTER

Senator Kwamboka

For Aspirant Beatrice Kwaboka, her first stab in elective politics was in 2013.

She joined the male dominated Nairobi politics  and was elected as the ward representative for Mountain View under ODM.

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kwamboka is a mother of two.

She attended Dandora Phase One Primary School, Sengani Secondary School in Machakos county and later enrolled for a secretarial course at Migsflo College in Nairobi.

Kwamboka's attempt to vie for the Woman Rep seat in the last general election was unsuccessful after she was trounced by Passaris in the ODM primaries. She garnered 11,296 against Passaris' 65,104 votes.

However, the Raila-led party nominated her to the Senate after assessing her commitment to ODM mostly in grassroots mobilisation.

Down but not out, Kwamboka has now declared interest to vie for Woman Rep post under the ODM ticket in the coming polls.

The vying she says, is simply heeding to the call of the many women who are yearning for her leadership.

Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris arrives at the 57th Jamhuri Day on December 12, 2021 held at Uhuru Gardens.
Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Passaris arrives at the 57th Jamhuri Day on December 12, 2021 held at Uhuru Gardens.
Image: MERCY MUMO

Passaris

Passaris first attempt in elective politics in 2008 following the death of Embakasi MP Mugabe Were.

However, she lost the by-election to former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.

In her late 50s, Passaris draws support following her successful business venture, the Adopt-A-Light' initiative.

This was an independent initiative that aimed to upgrade the city’s street lighting system to increase security. The venture saw her awarded the Order of Grand Warrior awarded by former President Mwai Kibaki.

The mother of two in 2013, joined the race to become Nairobi’s first Woman Rep on a Kenya National Congress party ticket but came third with 291,384 votes behind the winner CAS Rachel Shebesh who polled 632,646 votes.

In the 2017 , she won the ODM party ticket for the Woman Rep position by garnering 65,104 votes in the primaries giving her the green light to face off with Shebesh of Jubilee party in the August 8 elections.

Passaris won the seat with 109,310 votes against Shebesh's 83,030. 

She is banking on her development record to defend her seat in this year’s August polls.

The Woman Rep has also declared her support for her party boss Raila's presidential ambition.

 

 

-Edited by SKanyara