Five things to know about Martha ‘Iron Lady’ Wangari Karua
Martha Karua, otherwise known as the Iron Lady could soon create history as Kenya’s first Deputy President.
A seasoned politician and renowned lawyer, Karua was on Monday unveiled as Raila Odinga’s running mate at an event in Nairobi.
1. Background – She is the second born in a family of eight. She finished her ‘O’ levels at Karoti Girls High School in 1974, and moved to Nairobi Girls for her ‘A’ levels.
She pursued her Law Degree at the University of Nairobi before proceeding to the Kenya School of Law where she sat for her bar examination. She studied her Masters in Global Executive at the United States International University (USIU) – Africa in Nairobi.
2. Work experience – She worked as a Magistrate, Senior Resident Magistrate in Kenya, and later formed Martha Karua Advocates law firm.
3. Politics – She was first elected to Parliament to represent Gichugu constituency in 1992, a seat she held for a decade. She served as Justice & Constitutional Affairs Minister and Water Minister under Mwai Kibaki’s presidency.
4. Controversy – During a stint as Gichugu MP, she is remembered for working out on then President Daniel Moi as he addressed a public rally, something considered unthinkable back in the day.
Fast forward, she resigned as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs citing frustrations in discharging her duties coming at a time then-President Mwai Kibaki had appointed Judges without her knowledge. She is also adversely mentioned in the process of the disputed general elections in 2007 as a hardliner who made negotiations between Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki difficult.
5. Kirinyaga Politics – She unsuccessfully contested for the presidency in 2013. And again contested for the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat in 2017 where she lost to Ann Waiguru. She lodged and lost several petitions to nullify Waiguru’s victory at the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. She is reported to have turned down an appointment to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet thereafter.