Meet Youthful Female Candidate for MCA Ruth Juma from Nabiswa Ward in Kiminini Sub County with Bigger Dreams 

Ruth Juma

Nabiswa Ward residents are keenly following the Member of County Assembly campaigns, with many of them rallying behind Ruth Juma

By David Musundi in Kitale

Elective office holders among women stand at an all-time high in some communities especially among the Luhya community today, unlike in the past when it was believed that the work of women was only in the kitchen and the siring of children. A 28-year-old Ruth Juma from Nabiswa Village deferrers with this belief, saying women are far from parity.

Ruth is a Political Science Degree holder from Moi University, says gender- as a feature of both society and politics has always worked alongside the women folk determining who gets elected into office. She is in the race for the Nabiswa County Ward Assembly Seat. How gender connects to office- holder, she says, is not fixed and instead, women’s access to political office has been shaped by backward thinking from men competing with women candidates. Speaking during an interview with The Weekly Vision in Kitale, Ms Juma said women’s interests as candidates were only centred on the women’s representative slot.

Ruth Juma

She is using her Public Policy and Administration skills gained from Moi University to implore women to fully participate in the forthcoming elections by voting for fellow women in preparation for bigger seats during the 2027 elections and beyond. Her demeanor and casual dressing would make her pass for a small girl. She says many of the men vying alongside her in the race for MCA had mocked her, saying the race was not a girl’s playground. But the 28 -year-old has held her ground saying she is in the race to win and change the equation.

‘’I’m not a lesser aspirant in this race, I’m academically fit upstairs and want to ask voters not to look at my tummy downwards but from the neck to the head’’, she said. Dressed in a simple green dress and a simple hairdo and rubber shoes, Ruth could be seen mingling with political party bigwigs of Ford Kenya, a party sponsoring her for the seat against a packed group of 10 male contestants.

She told The Weekly Vision that she passed for a villager biting more than she could chew politically and was ready to liberate her people. Ms Juma popularly known as Khamosoti is the youngest of the about 8 candidates fighting to inherit the Nabiswa MCA seat currently held by Martin Jamanoor.

Due to her entry into the fray, Nabiswa residents are keenly following the Member of County Assembly campaigns, with many of them rallying behind her. Others in the race are Oliver Ray of UPF, Andrew Murunga of UDA, Carolyne Naliaka of Jubilee, Bonface Chisika of Usawa party, and Zipporah Watima of Kenya Union Party and Joel Milimo of Labour party of Kenya.

Ms Juma is now campaigning on foot with members of the Boda Boda sector escorting her into remotest places. She has been branded the “people’s candidate”. This has helped her overshadow her competitors, some of whom are deep-pocketed.

 “I strongly believe in God, that it is possible to deliver the seat with the overwhelming support from voters and well-wishers. I have faith in prayer and wish to demonstrate that leadership is not about how old you are or how much money and connections a candidate has’’, she said. If elected, she will focus on empowering women, the youth and people living with disabilities.

“As a youth, I understand the problems my age mates face. A majority of them have no source of income and have not been employed even after going through university and middle-level college education. It is an issue I will address with the national and county governments. I will also rope in the private sector to provide solutions,” says Ms Juma. She says most empowerment programs take the wrong approach and want to target groups trained on business or related ventures first to curb losses.

“In many instances, the empowerment programs have failed because the approach has been top-bottom instead of bottom-up. Some groups have received equipment that has not been helpful to them because they were not approached to find out their management needs, weaknesses and strengths” says Ms Juma. She received an overwhelming reception from Ford Kenya supporters recently when she was endorsed by Party leader Moses Wetangula.

 “Unlike in other regions where we have youths running for positions under their social standing, looks and privileged status, Ms Juma’s case is that of a village girl who has dared to dream and carries the aspirations of many. The support she has got is overwhelming,” says Kiminini resident Jackson Muganda.

Nabiswa ward has 11 polling stations among them Muungano, Nabunga, Nyasi, Mufutu Primary, Milele, Masaba, Nabiswa, Baraton,Kiungani , Makindu and Birunda where she is already leading in 7 . Her endorsement remains to be seen whether the support she has overwhelmingly received will translate into votes come August 9, and whether the ward is ripe for representation by a young person in the County Assembly.

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