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Aisha Jumwa: MP who doesn't shy from controversy

Wednesday October 16 2019

Aisha Jumwa

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa when she appeared in court on October 16, 2019. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MARY WANGARI
By MARY WANGARI
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Nothing speaks for Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa as loudly as her confidence, boldness, and uncanny ability to stand for what she believes in.

Coupled with her towering frame, eloquent coastal Swahili, and infectious energy, the vocal lawmaker has carved a unique style of communicating to her fans, which always leaves crowds electrified.

FRIENDS AND FOES

Her audacity sometimes makes crowds cringe and reel under embarrassment but Jumwa walks away as if nothing happened.

It is little wonder then that she has on several occasions been likened to Giriama freedom fighter Mekatilili wa Menza— a befitting comparison undoubtedly, which makes her an indispensable ally to political aspirants eyeing the top seat.

However, she is also known for her unpredictable nature, attributes which have earned her friends and foes in equal measure.

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On Wednesday, the MP was arrested at her Kakuyuni home following skirmishes that rocked an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) meeting  in which an uncle to Jumwa’s political rival was shot dead.

This is not the first time Jumwa is finding her in an eye of a storm.

The former Kilifi woman representative has been courting controversy since she ventured into the murky waters of politics, seven years ago.

In 2018, Jumwa ditched her longtime political ally and mentor, ODM leader Raila Odinga, to fiercely defend and drum up support for Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.

The legislator’s sudden change of heart is still a paradox to many considering that during the 2017 presidential elections, she publicly mobilised Kilifi people to perform rituals in a bid to stop repeat polls.

FIERSE POLITICAL MOBILISER

It is during that season of political madness that she threw shades at the then Mombasa Senator Omar Hassan when he decamped to rival Jubilee’s party.

If Odinga and the opposition thought they had seen enough of Jumwa, they did not see it coming when she started publicly attacking the former premier in political rallies, culminating into her being summoned by the disciplinary committee and subsequent dramatic expulsion from ODM earlier this year.

The 44-year-old fierce political mobiliser is the second in a family of five.

She started her education in Takanga Primary School before joining Murray Secondary school.

She also schooled at Ganze Secondary and Nyali Senior School.

A look at her biography, reveals how Jumwa had to cut short her education to have a child in Form Two and then resumed her studies.

She went on to graduate with a degree in Commerce from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology.

She holds a governance certificate from the same university.

Jumwa got political inspiration from her father who she says used to compose political songs for politicians.

Her passion for politics was evident and between 1997 and 2007, she was elected Kanu youth leader in Takangu and elected twice thereafter as councilor for Takangu Ward.

Jumwa’s political career gained a foothold in 2013 where, through an ODM ticket, she was elected the Kilifi woman representative.

In 2017 hotly contested general election, the ambitious politician switched to become the Malindi Township MP through on an ODM ticket.

The MP is also a women, youth and disabled people rights activist, causes she advocates for through her Aisha Jumwa Foundation.