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Watch: Justina Wamae’s fond memories of the late MP Kalembe Ndile

Justina Wamae, the former Roots Party presidential running mate, says her memories of the late Kalembe Ndile who was also the former Kibwezi lawmaker have been an anchor in her.

In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, Ms Wamae said that learning not to trust anyone in politics after her experience with the former Kibwezi lawmaker saved her during the tumultuous 2022 politics.

The mother of one decided to use the fond memories she has of Kalembe Ndile to make her way in the political space.

“I learnt so much from the fallen hero. I call him a hero because he taught me something that I will carry for as long as I live. People are untrustworthy outside here, especially politicians,” said Ms Wamae.

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Politician and entrepreneur Justina Wamae
Politician and entrepreneur Justina Wamae during the interview with Nairobi News. PHOTO SYLVIA KOIN

Wamae met Kalembe in 2017 when they were both running for the Mavoko Constituency MP seat. So essentially, they were political rivals.

Through that season, she learnt that not everything is a sure bet, not even when you have put in so much effort.

“I really pushed to get the ticket [that Kalembe was also eyeing] and the more I pushed the more I missed it,” she told Nairobi News.

“Because I had run [an initiative to create political awareness for Uhuru under the umbrella] Warembo na Uhuru and I had paid the Jubilee party fees, I felt like Jubilee should have at least given me the ticket,” she noted.

But that was not the case, Kalembe who was a more seasoned politician knew how to manoeuvre and bag a nomination, with minimal effort.

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He used his political currency, street smarts and status to get the direct ticket to run for the Mavoko Constituency MP under the Jubilee party.

Ms Wamae narrated that this experience was a tough learning curve for her.

“Kalembe Ndile was given the direct ticket. No nominations, nothing. So I learned if you want something, pray for it, but let God do His work,” she says.

Despite all this, Ms Wamae and Kalembe became good friends. The politician told Nairobi News, she does not regret meeting and knowing the late Kalembe.

Ms Wamae now knows first-hand that the memories she created with Kalembe guided her through the 2022 political maze to grow her standing and confidence as a female leader.

Unfortunately, the late Kalembe did not get to see Ms Wamae battle it out during the 2022 August polls.

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The Independent Party (TIP) Leader Kalembe Ndil
The Independent Party (TIP) Leader Kalembe Ndile address a press conference at Palm Tree hotel in Mombasa in this photo taken on 11th January 2016. The former Kibwezi MP blamed the current leadership wrangles on the constitution over its failing to clearly elaborate the roles of Governors, Senators and Member of Parliaments.
Photo by Kevin Odit.

He died at Nairobi Hospital at around 5:30 am on May 30, 2021, after a long illness.

The former vocal legislator was taken ill at night in his Mlolongo home where he complained of stomach pains.

He was diagnosed with multiple illnesses including; liver cirrhosis, cancer of the stomach, and kidney failure which necessitated medics to recommend that he be taken into theatre.

Ms Wamae also noted that she has not visited the family of Kalembe since his demise.

“His wife was a good friend. Although we haven’t talked for a while, I don’t mind checking up on the wife and the children,” said Ms Wamae.

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