Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa can pass for an ordinary woman but in the political arena, she is a force to reckon with.
She was born in Takaungu village where she also enrolled for her primary education. She later joined Ganze secondary school between 1991 and 1992. She dropped out of school and later enrolled for her KCSE examination at Nyali senior school in 2011.
In 2012 she joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where she graduated with a Certificate in County Governance.
She is probably the first woman politician to publicly attack her party leader and leader of opposition Raila Odinga.
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She is fierce and fearless when it comes to defending what she believes in.
Aisha Jumwa, the modern day Mekatilili
Raila Odinga has often likened her to the Mijikenda heroine Mekatillili Wa Menza, because of her firmness. She gained popularity when she was arrested by the jubilee government. She was arrested among other opposition leaders who later came to be known as the Pangani six.
Jumwa is currently sending shock waves in ODM over her repulsiveness to dictates of the party.
The MP was expelled from the party for publicly endorsing deputy president William Ruto as her preferred presidential candidate in the 2022 general elections.
It is not yet clear if Raila will vie in 2022. Jumwa’s political journey begun in her Takaungu backyard where she served as a KANU youth leader before trying her luck in the Takaungu civic ward seat.
She was elected twice as councilor for Takaungu ward between 1997 and 2007. She also served as the Chairperson, Kilifi Town Council between 2006 and 2007. In 2013 she was elected as the Kilifi woman representative on an ODM ticket.
When she decided to shift her political base from Kilifi north constituency to Malindi constituency, many people brushed her off.
“She is a foreigner and above all she is a woman. No one from Malindi will elect her,” most people were heard saying.
Always fortune favours the brave, she wrestled men and became the first woman MP in Kilifi county.
Woman of history
Jumwa is a smart strategist who knows how to sail with the wind. In 2014, Jumwa led a group of Kilifi county legislators to the Jubilee Party trap and made an about turn to ODM. All of them were floored in 2017.
Jumwa has declared her interest for the Kilifi gubernatorial seat in 2022. She is a woman of history, she is the first woman to be elected MP in Kilifi county and it will not come as a surprise if she wins the governor seat in 2022.
Her eloquence in political podiums is the greatest political asset she possesses. On matters politics, even the current Kilifi governor Amason Kingi is a novice compared to Jumwa.
Her command and mastery of the Giryama language on political podiums can be likened to the late Kingi Ngombo who was Kingi’s strategist. The late Kingi Mwiru tried to dress down Jumwa in 2017 without success. Ngombo was an ardent supporter of the then Malindi MP Willy Mtengo.
As it stands, the only obstacle that stands between Jumwa and the governor position is gender. The ordinary Kilifi voter still does not believe in being led by a woman.
The Ruto factor
Her tribulations in ODM have put her on the national politics. In ranking, she is higher than most of those who have shown interest for the seat.
Her political ‘courtship’ with Ruto can be a blessing to her. In the coast region, she is the most trusted leader by the DP. In many occasions, Ruto has defended her against ODM luminaries out to see her expelled from the party.
Governor Kingi has been deputized by a leader from the Rabai sub tribe of the Mijikenda in both his first and second term.
The Rabai sub tribe has been a determinant in who becomes the governor of Kilifi. Lucky enough, Jumwa has a backing of leaders from the Rabai community.
The ODM party has vowed to toss Jumwa out of the party, should this happen and a by-election is called, the outcome of the by-election will dictate whether she will win the gubernatorial seat or not.