By Erick Ludeya
The Nairobi City County Assembly is the biggest among the 47 county assemblies and has always been in the news for both good and bad reasons.
The assembly has been in existence since 2013 at the advent of devolution and has been on the forefront in setting the pace for the rest of the devolved units in terms of oversight, legislation and representation.
The Times focuses on specific and outstanding women leaders at the assembly between 2017 to date and here is what we have gathered.
The Nairobi South Ward (South B) MCA is one the only five elected female MCAs at the assembly.
She has by no doubt been the most vocal not only among the women but even when rated against the male colleagues. Her contributions on the floor of the house have always attracted pin drop silence from the colleagues and at the media gallery.
She has never shied away from launching an onslaught on the county executive when it goes wrong. At one point, she was visibly angered on the floor of the house when commenting on the inhumane acts of the County Askaris. A hawker had been violently roughed up by the County askaris to the extent of losing his teeth.
But her biggest contribution has been through bills and the most recent one is the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming (Amendment) Bill 2021.
The bill proposes several restrictions on gambling in the city, including restricting gambling between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. It also seeks to restrict gambling operations to five-star hotels with a casino.
Should the Bill become law, those found contravening it will face a four-year jail term with the option of a Sh10 million fine for opening outside of permitted hours.
She was also at the forefront in pushing for the BBI report which she believed was going to add a great value to devolution.
Waithera was elected on the Jubilee party ticket and is expected to defend her seat using the same party.
A strong-willed brilliant and outgoing young woman from Laikipia, down the slopes of Mount Kenya.
She is serving as a Jubilee Party nominated MCA and prides herself as an independent minded woman who still harbors respect for traditional African culture.
She stole the public limelight when she stood firm against the impeachment of ex-governor Mike Sonko. According to her, the Impeachment was not on merit and asked the Senate to dismiss it.
Those who have the habit of misappropriating public funds must have faced her wrath in one way or another. This is because of her ruthless and candid oversight submissions that have always stood out in the Public Accounts Committee.
She also stirred a serious public debate back in 2019 when she suggested that children in the city’s Early Childhood Development Education centres should have lessons on language and culture.
According to Museiya, indigenous languages are quickly becoming extinct, especially in metropolitan areas and having a lesson dedicated to these languages will help children identify with their culture.
A member of the speaker’s panel who commands a special grip of the queen’s language.
She is also a nominated Member who is passionate on youths and governance issues in the county. Being a beauty queen, she is always smiling for the cameras.
June has been a great defender of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services ( NMS) and it’s not surprising that she was at the forefront in the impeachment of ex-governor Mike Sonko.
She has never shied away from taking strong positions. At some point in 2020,she took a strong position against a strong group of colleagues allied to Sonko in the dispute related to the Financial Year 2020-21 budgetary allocation.
She served as majority whip in interim capacity before they were kicked out of office together with other leaders she served with.
She has also joined the race to unseat Embakasi Central MP Benjamin Gathiru which means that she is inviting some friendly fire from majority leader Abdi Guyo who is also eying the same seat.
Her leadership experience started at the Kenya Young Members of the County Assemblies Association where she served as the chairperson.
The Kware ward MCA is one of the most experienced women leaders at the county assembly.
She served as a nominated MCA during the 2013-2017 period before clinching the seat on an ODM ticket in the 2017 election.
She has worked closely with the writer of this piece on several projects in her ward and for the record, she has done an extremely tremendous job. At some point ,she thought the writer was interested in the seat but that had to be settled the other day. The writer is not interested in any political office.
When it comes to development issues, the fearless legislator takes no prisoners.
She fiercely took on the NMS for neglecting Unique roads in her ward in the ongoing projects in Nairobi.
She is also a great defender of women in leadership and a mentor to many young aspiring women across the political divide.
In matters of politics, she stands out as one of the best grassroot mobilisers hence a great asset to the ODM party.
First term elected MCA who won under the Jubilee Party ticket to represent Mlango Kubwa ward, Mathare sub county.
She is the chairperson of the Nairobi County Assembly Ward Development Fund Committee
She hit the headlines in June 2020 when she was admitted to the Nairobi Women’s Hospital after she was assaulted by police officers. This is after drama ensued at the assembly following her attempts to issue the then speaker Beatrice Elachi a notice of her impeachment motion.
Mutheu has been a vocal advocate of the actualization of the Ward Development fund in Nairobi and believes that the county has to adopt a ward based administrative model to decongest the CBD offices.
She has at one point accused City Hall of failing to address MCAS and staff grievances, which include perennial delay of salaries, non-provision of medical cover, failure to promote county staff, non-remittance of statutory deductions and non-payment of overtime and other allowances.
Her recent offensive against the county executive was about the recurrence of fire incidents in the city. She blames the county of politicizing the Disaster management kitty.
The late Mellab Lumalah Atema was an icon of her own and she will forever be celebrated for her distinguished and servant leadership.
Before her death,she was the deputy minority leader and a member of the Budget committee.
Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura said that the county legislator had been undergoing treatment abroad before the assembly received the sad news of her demise.
She was diagnosed with stage four cancer and has been outside the country since December last year.
Ms Lumalah has been an active member of the Nairobi County Assembly where she has been at the forefront of advocating for many legislations touching on women and the youth.
In particular, she has been part of MCAs who have been fighting against sexual and gender based violence together with Deputy Majority Whip Waithera Chege and nominated MCA Wanjiru Kariuki.