Sunday, December 28, 2008

Party picks woman as chairperson

Shirikisho Party of Kenya leader Chirau Ali Mwakwere (centre) congratulates the newly-elected chairperson, Ms Lina Mkasi Buni, after she won the seat unopposed during the party’s national delegates conference at the Bombolulu Cultural Workshops on Sunday. Photo/GIDEON MAUNDU 

By PHILIP MUYANGA  

Shirikisho Party of Kenya (SPK) has become the first political party to elect a woman chairperson since the Political Parties Act was passed.

Ms Linah Mkasi Buni, a nominated councillor from Kilifi county council, was elected to the position when the party held its national delegates conference in Mombasa on Sunday. The post of vice chairman went to Mr Nassir Mohamed. 

Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, who is the Party of National Unity (PNU) vice chairman, is the SPK party leader.

He said that he was given permission by SPK to contest the Matuga parliamentary seat on a PNU ticket. Mr Yusuf Abubakar was elected the party’s secretary general while his deputy will be Mr Abdulkadir Khamis Mwinyi.

The treasurer’s position went to Ms Wakio Mzozo while Ms Saida Rama Shikely is vice treasurer. 

Mr Adam Mohamed Mbeto was elected as the organising secretary with Ms Rukia Ahmed as his deputy.  All the officials were elected unopposed. They had submitted their applications by the end of December 24.

Form coalitions

In her acceptance speech, Ms Buni who replaces Mr Mashengu wa Mwachofi as party chairman, said that the party will form coalitions with other parties as it prepares for the 2012 General Election. 

“This is the era of coalition government,” she said. She acknowledged her election, describing SPK as a unique party which recognises the capacity of women to lead.

Her remarks came barely a week after women leaders protested after the two main parties, ODM and PNU, failed to name them to key party positions. 

Ms Buni asked for the support of party members for the party to achieve political success. The outgoing chairperson, Mr Mwachofi, said he was happy to hand over the mantle of leadership of the party.

“I have served the party as chairperson for two terms since 2002. I did not seek re-election,” he said.

SPK elected its officials four days before the December 31 deadline for all political parties to have complied with the requirements of the Political Parties Act.

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