By Prudence Minayo
When Agnes Nkanya left her civil servant job to pursue a County Assembly seat, she had all reasons to be optimistic and visualize a luminous future.
Instead, she found herself in a difficult place having spent her savings on a political seat only to lose. She spoke to the Nation on 16th March 2023, narrating her ordeal.
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Straight out of high school, she was fortunate enough to secure employment with the Ministry of Agriculture. She retained the job even as she attended university and attained her degree.
Later, she got a permanent and pensionable job with the ministry. Her salary was Sh40,000 a month.
The single mother of one left her decade long job and vied for the Member of County Assembly seat for Magumoni ward in Tharaka Nithi county. This is one of the most populated wards in the county.
She was also a big supporter of the president and was part of the youth for Ruto group. Vying under the Devolution Party of Kenya (DPK), she came in third.
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The seat was being contested by six candidates, with Agnes being the only woman. The DPK party was under Kenya Kwanza but the one who carried the day was from United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
She conceded defeat and promised to continue supporting the president.
When she lost the seat, she had nothing to fall back on and no money. Hence, she began looking for work.
It took a lot of courage to step out and ask for a job from the same people she had asked for votes.
Most thought she was not serious and was just looking for pity having lost the election. However, they soon realized otherwise. When the Daily Nation caught up with her, she was working at a
construction site in Ndagani.
The site manager gave her a job despite the fact that it was a male dominated industry and commented that she was a hard worker.
She mainly carries construction stones, mixes concrete and works on the foundation. At other times, she also washes cars in a nearby car wash
and if she is lucky gets to make Sh500 a day.
Most of the time, she is exhausted since it something she isn’t used to. However, she needs the job to make ends meet.
The former political aspirant also runs Agnes Nkanya foundation which helps victims of gender based violence, provides sanitary towels to girls from poor families, and fights female genital mutilation among other things.
Through the foundation, she has helped a few girls get education in secondary school but it is now at a standstill since she doesn’t have finances to fund it.
Despite the challenging situation, she does not regret running for the position. She said her motivation was to help her people. Her plea was that the president, prof. Kindiki or governor Njuki would come to her aid, even if it means getting her previous job back.
“I cannot pretend I am not suffering. I plead with the President, Prof Kindiki and Governor Njuki to help me please,” she told Nation.Africa.
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