, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has eulogized his sister Margaret Wambui as a strong woman, and used the occasion to hail other women in leadership positions.
Speaking at a requiem mass held at St Andrews Church, President Kenyatta urged Parliament to re-introduce debate on two thirds gender provision.
“In solidarity with the women of this country, my suggestion is that today especially those of us who have an opportunity and the ability… I think we have a responsibility to work together and ensure that we pass the two thirds gender rule so that women can take their rightful place in our society.”
In his speech, President Kenyatta said his late sister had fought hard for women’s rights just like his mother Mama Ngina and First Lady Margaret.
“Her name comes from our Matriarch Wambui so I think today I can come clean and tell all of you that I come from a family that has some very strong and powerful women and I am very proud of you,” the Head of State said.
He explained that women within the Kenyatta family were strong and provided the much needed support.
“Women who have been committed to our family, women who are the backbone of our family and women who have held this family together for all these years. For one reason or another, we also tend to attract strong women,” he said.
He encouraged all men never to underestimate the strength of women.
“To all the men in this house, in the words of another artist who sometimes sings some very naughty songs, I won’t get into those, but never under estimate the strength of a woman,” he stated.
Family members and friends said the late Wambui was a hard working woman who thrived in success while remaining very close to her father, who was Kenya’s first president.
“When her father was arrested after the declaration of the state of emergency in 1952, Margaret was the source of information for her father through the numerous personal letters that she wrote to him,” one of her relatives stated. “Letters were censored and the content was mainly news of the family.”
The former Mayor of Nairobi was described as a vibrant woman who brightened the lives of those around her.
During the mass, her family members and friends said she was a hard working woman who thrived in success while remaining very close to her father, who was Kenya’s first president.
Margaret who died last week at her home in Lavington was the first woman to be elected Mayor in Kenya.
She was buried in a private ceremony later this afternoon at her home along Ngong Road near Jamhuri Park.
She attended Ruthimitu Primary School and was among the pioneer students of Alliance High School, when it started as a mixed school in 1947.
From 1970 to 1976, Margaret served as the Mayor of Nairobi – she was the first woman to hold that position.
She left to become Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, where she served for ten years from 1976 to 1986.
During her father’s lifetime, Margaret was the most politically active member of the Kenyatta family.