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The rise and rise of Aisha Jumwa: From Councilor to Cabinet Secretary

By Kevin Cheruiyot September 28th, 2022 2 min read

President William Ruto’s Cabinet nominees who were named on Tuesday include cronies and political allies who stood with him during last month’s General Election.

The president also took into account the two-third gender rule by nominating seven women to his 22-member cabinet. Among the seven is former Malindi Member of Parliament, Aisha Jumwa Katana.

Jumwa’s latest appointment is the culmination of an eventful political career that dates to 2002 when she was the Councilor for Takaungu Ward, a position which is now referred as Member of County Assembly (MCA) .

Also read: President William Ruto names his cabinet

She also served as chairperson, Kilifi Town Council in 2007 before taking a break to concentrate on her personal businesses.

Ms Jumwa made her debut to national politics in 2013 when she ran for Kilifi Woman Representative and emerged victorious.

In 2017 she successfully contested the Malindi parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket, but later fell out with the party structures and shifted her allegiance to the Jubilee government of former President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Her actions completely severed her ties with ODM and she gradually transformed herself into then Deputy President William Ruto’s most loyal ally.

Also read: Ruto nominates Japhet Koome for position of Inspector General of Police

In the just concluded election, Ms Jumwa unsuccessfully ran for governor of Kilifi County on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket. She came second with 65,893 votes, losing to ODM candidate Gideon Mung’aro who garnered 143,773 votes.

The former MP is among the few women in Kenyan politics who have gone against the odds to face men for key elective positions.

But her unwavering loyalty to President Ruto has now paid off handsomely following her nomination for the position of Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Gender & Affirmative Action.

Also read: Ruto rewards loyalists with plum Cabinet positions