KISUMU, Kenya, Jun 30 – The Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association (KEWOPA) will push for the fast tracking of the Kenya Heroes Bill to honour national heroes and heroines.
KEWOPA members from across the political divide made the pledge when they visited ageing first Kenyan female mayor and MP, Grace Onyango, in Kisumu.
Siaya Woman Representative Christine Ombaka says the passage of the Bill must be hastened to ensure the country honours heroes and heroines while still alive.
“We have this habit of celebrating heroes after Jamhuri Day,” says Ombaka.
The MP says Onyango made a great impact in the political scene and must be remembered while still living.
“I want to see Mama Grace Onyango’s statue in Kisumu or even in Parliament or somewhere in Nairobi because that is the only way to remember those who fought for the country,” she says.
Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga says the election of Onyango into Parliament in the old days is a pointer that women are not enemies of their own.
Omanga says the narrative has been used to divide women votes and should be shunned.
“As women we love one another and this narration that women are enemies of their own should stop,” she said.
The Senator announced that the Ministry of Gender has elaborate plans to identify, recognize and honour women heroines.
Onyango, now 91, took the women parliamentarians through her journey into politics.
Onyango, a trained school teacher ventured into politics at a youthful age becoming the first woman Member of Parliament in post-independent Kenya.
She says that she was determined to excel in all her undertakings to set a good example to the upcoming generation.
“I wanted to do the work. I chose because I know ladies or women who will come after me will not dismiss my work,” she said.
Nominated Senator Jacqueline Oduol said the visit had reenergized her resolved to work hard in the political life.
Oduol says the women parliamentarians who visited the ailing Onyango at her house situated within Tom Mboya Estate in Kisumu learnt a lot.
“What she has told us is that it is not being a man or a woman, it is really getting in there (Parliament) and do your best,” she says.
Among those who visited Onyango were Woman Representatives Rosa Buyu (Kisumu), Esther Passaris (Nairobi) and Beatrice Adagala, Vihiga County, nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga and Kabondo Kasipul MP Eve Obara.
They took gifts raging from fruits, plaque, and clothing material to beauty products.