, KITUI, Kenya, Aug 21 – Charity Ngilu was the first female governor to be sworn into office on Monday following the August 8 elections
Ngilu was sworn-in alongside her deputy Wathe Nzau by Lady Justice Pauline Nyamweya in a ceremony at the Muslim Secondary in Kitui Town.
Julius Malombe was not present to hand over the mantle of leadership to Governor Ngilu but that did not stop the event from proceeding as the County Secretary Alex Kimanzi Munywoki gave the instruments of power to her.
The ceremony was attended by NASA co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka and outgoing Kitui Senator David Musila.
Ngilu of NARC survived the wave of Musyoka’s Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) to beat Musila (an independent candidate) and Malombe of WDM.
She garnered 162,768 votes which translate to 47.41pc of the vote.
– Promises –
The Narc party leader said she would not favour any ward, based on how people voted or the political parties their leaders belong to, but will serve all residents without bias.
She has asked the newly elected county lawmakers to put aside party affiliations and forge a bipartisan working relationship.
She promised – in the first 100 days – to equip all health facilities, improve access to clean water and give residents free certified seeds for the next rainy season.
– Political Life –
Ngilu, 65, was elected to represent Kitui Central constituency in 1992 on a Democratic Party ticket. She was re-elected to the same seat and ran for President in the 1997 General Election on a Social Democratic Party of Kenya ticket, finishing fifth behind the eventual winner, Daniel arap Moi.
Later, she joined the National Party of Kenya. In the December 2002 General Election, her party was part of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC).
The coalition went on to win the elections, and President Mwai Kibaki appointed her as Minister of Health when he named his Cabinet in January 2003. She was also appointed NARC Chairperson.
Ngilu was re-elected in Kitui Central in the December 2007 parliamentary election.
Kibaki won the presidential election according to official results, but this was disputed by ODM, and a violent crisis developed.
The crisis was eventually resolved with a power-sharing agreement, and in the grand coalition Cabinet named in April 2008, Ngilu was appointed Minister of Water and Irrigation.
In 2013, she chose to run for Kitui County Senator but lost to David Musila.
Following her failed bid, Ngilu was named Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development by President Uhuru Kenyatta, but she resigned from the post following corruption allegations.
Ngilu ran for Governor of Kitui County in the 2017 General Election, beating Malombe and becoming one of three elected women governors.