Fiery Kilifi Woman Representative Aisha Jumwa has made sure it came to pass, her assertion that Mr William Mtengo, whom she vigorously campaigned for during the Malindi by-election in March 2016, was a “passing cloud.”
She bagged the ODM ticket in a vicious battle with Mr Mtengo for the Malindi parliamentary seat that produced almost as much fireworks as the by-election, by garnering 8,436 votes against the incumbent MP’s paltry 3,758 votes.
The battle had seemed even and could have gone either way a month before the party primaries last Saturday.
Ms Jumwa had even threatened to leave the party over fears that a ticket could be handed to Mr Mtengo or a plan was being hatched to rig her out. Mr Mtengo too, cried foul, indicating that the primaries would not be free and fair.
But the matter took a dramatic turn as the nominations got closer, with both Mr Mtengo and Ms Jumwa declaring that they were in ODM to stay and would square it at the ballot box.
It was in public domain that there were two forces in the Malindi constituency ticket.
Mr Mtengo was receiving full backing from Governor Amason Kingi, who allegedly also played a major role in the MP’s choice for the by-election in March 2016. The two are said to be business partners.
Ms Jumwa, on the other hand, received support from party leader Raila Odinga who seemed to have developed a special admiration of her ability to campaign for the party and her oratory skills and bravery.
Ms Jumwa made it clear (although not publicly at first) during the by-election that she was campaigning for Mr Mtengo, “a weak candidate so that I will have an easy way to dislodge him in the elections next year”.
Later on, she declared in public that Mr Mtengo “should sit with one buttock as he warms the chair for me because I will dislodge him [in] the August 8 general election”.
The differences between the friends-turned-foes intensified towards the nominations as accusations and counter-accusations flew from all directions, with each pouring venom on the other and trying to justify why they should not be elected.
JUMWA SHIFTS HOMES
“If it is political leadership, Jumwa already has it (woman rep). Why is she coming to seek the parliamentary seat? Furthermore, why does she shift from her home in Takaungu (near Kilifi Town) to come to settle in Malindi? We have not been told that she got married here,” Mr Mtengo argued.
But the woman rep who had acquired the Swahili nickname “jike dume” (a female man) due to her fearlessness and combative politics, ignored the accusations and name-calling to focus her attention on the prize.
She even built a new in Ganda after moving from her ancestral home in Takaungu.
The huge margin in the primaries results between the two, if they are anything to go by, are a true testimony that the MP was, after all “only warming the seat for me” as Ms Jumwa had repeatedly declared.
Ms Jumwa’s close challenger is likely to be Mr Mtengo’s fiercest opponent in the by-election Mr Philip Charo, who vied on a Jubilee ticket then, even though several other candidates will be in the race.
Elsewhere in Mombasa, another outspoken Woman Rep Mishi Mboko bagged the prized ODM ticket for the Likoni parliamentary seat to fight it out with Jubilee’s incumbent Masoud Mwahima, himself an ODM rebel.
Ms Mboko garnered 5,935 votes and floored her closest rival Hamisi Domoko who got 3,294.
She is a close ally of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho although she denied any involvement of the governor in her victory.
Ms Mboko has been vocal and always at Governor Joho’s side, especially when he was besieged in a row over alleged fake certificates.
Even when Mr Joho faced off with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ms Mboko was with him.
In the Kwale woman rep race, the results went against expectations when nominated MP Zuleikha Juma carried the day defeating Ms Fatuma Masito whom many expected to win with ease.
The little known Ms Juma got 11,320 against her rival, Ms Masito’s 8,677.
She will fight it out with the incumbent, Zainab Chidzuga, who got a Jubilee direct ticket, and former Kwale County Public Service Board vice chairperson, Ms Fatuma Tabwara.
Ms Jumwa and Ms Mboko are among women representatives who have opted to run for parliamentary seats.
Analysts say the politicians were running away from the county positions to constituencies due to power and clout that parliamentary representatives have.