, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 21 – Newly elected Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru attributes her win in Monday’s by election to her development record and her need to address the needs of her constituents.
In her maiden speech soon after reclaiming the seat on Monday night, Bishop Wanjiru said she was grateful to God that he had finally put the ghost of election malpractices that marred her successful 2007 election to Parliament.
The High Court nullified her election after it established that the poll was full of malpractices and as such could not yield legitimate results.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader reclaimed her seat, after bagging 29,287 votes against Maina Kamanda\’s (PNU) 25,416 votes.
Even though she waited for about five hours before her election was formally confirmed by the poll body, Bishop Wanjiru cut the image of a person who was finally at peace with herself, as one of her supporters joked that ‘the glory had never left’ in reference to the catch phrase associated with her church ministry – ‘The glory is here’.
“In one sentence I feel like praising, loving and serving the Lord more than I have ever done; my winning secret is prayer and also I love people. I don’t care who you are, or social class, I love everybody,” she said.
Mr Kamanda did not show up at the tallying centre only keeping tabs of the proceeding through his agents. Other candidates Jackson Mwangi (Narc-K) and Nyagah Steven (PPK) conceded defeat to Bishop Wanjiru.
After she was declared winner at 3am, Bishop Wanjiru thanked her supporters for reaffirming her tenure as their MP, which would have been cut short had she lost the by election.
“Not only has God glorified himself but he has also justified himself, because for the last two years we have been insulted, taken to court and accused of stealing other people’s votes, but if you look at what we got today, it is just the same as what I got in 2007. God has proven a point.”
ODM Deputy National Chairperson Elizabeth Ongoro and Parliamentary Group Secretary Ababu Namwamba said it would have been a travesty to justice if the Bishop had failed to reclaim the seat.
“This is also a victory for the indefatigable strength of a woman, because in Bishop we have seen the best in the strength of a woman, who can stand up to a challenge and face it head on and fight a good fight with faith and conviction, so to all women of Kenya this is you victory,” said Mr Namwamba.
Meanwhile, the ODM party took advantage of the Starehe win to boast of the popularity in the city even as their coalition partner PNU mourned the loss of two crucial seats.
Mr Namwamba on his party said that the win would be crucial as the party seeks to push through the implementation of the new Constitution.
“We are faced with a critical phase in the history of our country. We are settling down to implement the new Constitution, and as a reforming party we need all the numbers we can muster to push through the agenda of change,” he said.