By Faith Nyambeki
She’s loved and hated in almost equal measure depending on one’s political persuasion. Hon. Aisha Jumwa, who has been appointed Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action Cabinet Secretary, is that politician you want in your corner. She’s abrasive, confident and easily connects with the masses. With her famed ‘Kiuno’ slogan, Aisha surprised many by openly supporting President William Ruto to the chagrin of the ODM party that sponsored her to parliament. So who is this lady who has become a major player in Kenyan politics?
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The MP was born in Kilifi South constituency, Kilifi county on March 23, 1975. Aisha Jumwa, who was once referred as Mekatilli wa Menza by his political mentor turned foe Raila Odinga, is a second born in a family of five.
Jumwa’s past should be a life lesson to the many school girls who have been impregnated during this Covid-19 pandemic and are probably thinking this is the end of their lives. The indefatigable politician fell pregnant when she was in Form Two but that did not halt her from chasing her dreams. She was inspired to enter the murky world of politics by her father who campaigned for the area councillor (now known as MCAs) through dance and song. This is probably where she learned how to ‘zungusha’ her kiuno’.
Despite falling pregnant in High school that did not deter the politician from pursuing education to university level. Jumwa went to Takanga Primary school and Murray Secondary School for her O-levels. She dropped out to nurse her first child while in Form Two. After this challenge in her life, she joined Ganze Secondary School and Nyali Senior School. The hardened politician joined Jomo Kenyatta University for Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) for Technology for a Certificate in County Governance and later a Degree in Commerce from the same institution.
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|2012||Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)||Certificate in County Governance|
|2011||Nyali Senior School||Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE)|
|1991||1992||Ganze Secondary School|
|1990||Takaungu Primary School||Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE)|
She is a mother of two daughters and a son. The children are Karisa Kalume, Selina Sidi and Ruth. She is also a grandmother. Aisha has been accused-together with her children-of embezzling kes58million from constituency coffers. Some saw this investigation was informed by the MP decision to support DP Ruto.
The mother of three is a tough cookie. She has been divorced twice in what can best be described as dramatic fashion if reports appearing on a section of the media are to be believed. Her first husband was not interested in politics and told Aisha as much. He gave her an option of either staying in the marriage or politics. She opted for the latter. And it did not stop there. Aisha reportedly took her then husband to the area sub-chief and agreed to refund the dowry he had paid that included cows, goats and kes20,000. It did not end there. The iron lady drove the animals personally to her parents in law.
Years later, she married ex-Jomvu Member of County Assembly Karisa Nzai. The relationship ended when she elected Kilifi Woman Representative.
Aisha Jumwa has been in a relationship with he bodyguard Geoffrey Okuto Otieno for the past years. Mr Geoffrey has a family and two kids and his first wife is aware of his relationship with Jumwa.
Before joining the male dominated Kenyan politics, Jumwa worked in a construction company in Kilifi known as Kaseru Enterprises. Politics was part and parcel of her life. She was a KANU party youth winger and went on to be elected as Takaunga ward councilor from 1997-2007. She lost her seat in 2007 when the ODM wave swept the Coast region. From 2005 to 2007, Aisha was the chairperson of Kilifi Town Council. Some of the projects she initiated and completed include:
- Kilifi Car part
- several rural access roads
- water projects
- schools and medical facilities
And as a woman representative, the politician established the Aisha Jumwa Foundation that champions for the rights and empowers youth, women and the girl child. Her foundation is credited with doing the following:
- Sanitary pad distribution in over 50 primary and secondary school
- Mentorship programs on leadership
- Sponsored seven greenhouses
- She has also donated foodstuff
- Erected shades to the Malindi market
- Building schools in Malindi such as Sosobora Secondary School, Ganda and Maweni primary schools
|March 2013||Date||Kenya National Assembly||Member of Parliament, Kilifi County|
|2006||2007||Kilifi Town Council||Chairperson, Kilifi Town Council|
|2002||2007||Kilifi Town Council||Councilor, Takaungu Ward|
|1997||2002||Kilifi Town Council||Councilor, Takaungu Ward|
Membership to Committees (11th Parliament):
|2013||2017||Departmental Committee on Environment & Natural Resources||Member|
|2013||2017||Departmental Committee on Labour & Social Welfare||Member|
Membership to Committees (12th Parliament):
|2017||To date||Members Services and Facilities Committee||Member|
The MP has been steadfast in supporting the DP Ruto. Unlike other ‘tangatanga’ who jumped ship when it mattered most, Aisha stood with the DP and voted against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). Of the MPs who participated in the vote, 235 supported the bill while 83 rejected it.