Meru County Woman Representative aspirant Eng. Edith Mwirigi, who withdrew from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party nominations on Thursday citing irregularities, will now run as an independent candidate.
The 31-year-old cited favouritism in the exercise as she blamed the regional party leadership for awarding direct party tickets without consensus thereby making the playing field uneven.
“I will be running as an independent candidate in the race for Woman Representative in Meru County. We withdrew because we cited three major concerns and up to now, we feel they could not make the elections free, fair, and credible,” said Eng. Mwirigi during a press briefing on Saturday.
“Even though the UDA primaries have been nullified, the circumstances that necessitated my exit still exist. I would really like to urge the regional leaders given responsibilities by the party leaders not to sabotage their dream by frustrating the dreams of many aspirants.”
She further censured political parties for asking candidates to pay the nominations fee despite reportedly knowing they have favourites already lined up for the tickets.
While referring to women and youth in politics, the MP hopeful said the two special groups face financial constraints in raising nomination fees hence foul play during the exercise demeans them.
“People pay nomination fees with the hope that they will get justice and a free and fair nomination process. If a party has a preferred candidate, why do you let people nomination fees; why do you let a young person pay so much money and in the end you don’t give them justice?” She posed.
Eng. Mwirigi underscored the need for parties in the country to give equal opportunities to women and youth in order for them to claim a spot in the political space.
“To our parties, not specifically UDA, youth and women are integral people in our society. You can only give them a fair platform, an equal chance to become part of the leadership in our country,” she urged.
She opined that it would be difficult for the next government to achieve the three-gender rule requirement in Parliament if political parties continue with their biases.
“I don’t we will think we will ever achieve the two-thirds gender rule if this is what is happening in our political parties.”
Eng. Mwirigi will now battle it out with Elizabeth Karambu Kailemia who secured UDA’s direct nomination, Felicity Biriri of DEP (Mbus) Party among other contestants.