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This woman Aisha Jumwa: Is she the Mekatilili wa Menza of our times?


Love her or hate her but one thing you can never question about Malindi Member of Parliament Aisha Jumwa is 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 MP has carved a unique style of communicating to her followers which always leaves the crowd hyped, charged and electrified.

CONTROVERSIAL WOMAN

She is so audacious that she can say anything, anywhere and at anytime – sometimes leaving the crowd cringing and reeling with embarrassment, and still walk away as if nothing happened.

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

However, the mother of three is also known for her capricious and slippery nature, attributes which have earned her friends and foes in equal measure.

On Wednesday, October 16, the MP was arrested at her Kakuyuni home following skirmishes which erupted in an ODM rally in which an uncle to Jumwa’s political rival was shot dead.

This is not the first time, however, that the former Kilifi Women Representative is courting controversy since she ventured into the murky waters of politics about seven years ago.

Jumwa left political enthusiasts dumbstruck when she out of the blues 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.

CHANGE OF HEART

The legislator’s sudden change of heart is still a paradox to many, considering some of the things she rumoured to have done in 2017 to prevent the repeat elections.

Moreover, she outrageously threw shades at the then Mombasa Senator Omar Hassan when he decamped to Jubilee 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 party’s disciplinary committee and subsequent dramatic expulsion from the political outfit this year.

The 44-year-old 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 into her biography, the MP opens up about how she had to cut short her education to have a child in Form Two and then resumed her studies.

Jumwa went on to graduate with a Degree in Commerce from Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT). She also holds a Governance Certificate from the same university.

Jumwa’s political influence has grown over time making her an invaluable asset in Coast politics, which aspirants hoping to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022, can only ignore at their own risk.

POLITICAL CAREER

Her sudden change of tune and shift of allegiance to the Deputy President has undoubtedly dealt a heavy blow to the opposition leader, which, according to political commentators, has thrown a spanner into the works in the opposition leaders ambitions to ascend to the top seat.

That said, her rise into politics have been steady with her artfulness making her the seasoned politician she is today.

According to Jumwa, her dalliance with politics can be traced back to her father, who she divulges, was a composer of political songs for politicians.

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

Jumwa’s political career gained a foothold in 2013 when, through an ODM ticket, she was elected as the Kilifi Woman Representative.

In the hotly-contested General Election of 2017, the ambitious politician climbed a rank higher to become Malindi Township MP courtesy of ODM.

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