, NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 19 – Businesswoman Mary Wambui is The National Alliance’s (TNA) flag bearer for the Othaya Parliamentary seat which is currently held by President Mwai Kibaki.
Wambui beat her bitter rival Gichuki Mugambi by 13,050 votes to 10,080 to stay on course to succeed President Kibaki who is retiring after representing the constituency in Parliament since 1985.
Mugambi interestingly commanded the support of President Kibaki’s oldest son Jimmy.
But Wambui avoided controversy, saying she neither had the will nor the money to buy “all votes in Othaya.”
The Othaya parliamentary contest took another direction in December after the president’s son claimed that Kibaki had endorsed Mugambi.
The political activist has had to overcome other challenges to her candidature including a court petition where four voters wanted her barred from contesting because her integrity is questionable since she was adversely mentioned to have been involved in the funding of the 2008 post-election violence.
But in his ruling, Justice David Majanja said that the court had no jurisdiction in the case, and that the issue of moral character and integrity were to be determined by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and The National Alliance.
The other aspirant seeking to succeed President Kibaki is Gichuki King’ara who is running on the Grand National Union party.
Wambui has vast political experience having worked in Nyeri Kanu branch office for many years. She is reputed to be a good political strategist with a close-knit network of operatives not only in Othaya but in the entire Nyeri County.
She has been co-coordinating President Kibaki’s political activities in the constituency and Nyeri since 1992, as he reached out to other parts of the country.
The activist has not hesitated to remind local voters of the instrumental role she has been playing in the re-election of President Kibaki since 1974, but she points out that she is nobody’s project.