Meru County Governor-elect Kawira Mwangaza defied the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) wave in Mount Kenya region to win the hotly contested race – trouncing political heavyweights.
She garnered a total of 209,148 votes while her closest competitor Mithinka Linturi of UDA got 183,859 votes.
Kawira also beat the incumbent governor Kiraitu Murungi of the Development Empowerment Party (DEP) which was also perceived as a major party in Meru politics. She made a subtle entry into politics as an independent candidate in a region where party politics have dominated in previous election cycles.
In 2017, she won the Women Representative position ahead of then incumbent Florence Kajuju who had the blessings of the Jubilee Party.
However, Mwangaza’s triumph in the Meru Gubernatorial race has pronounced her prospects as the woman to watch far as Meru’s politics are concerned.
Mwangaza studied at Kampala university where she graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Guidance and Counselling in 2011. She also holds a certificate in Human Resource Management from Makerere University.
Prior to her election as Meru County Women Rep, Kawira worked as the CEO of Mwangaza Distributors, a company that specializes in energy solutions. It is from this that she earned the name “Mwangaza” which is Swahili for lighting.
Mwangaza has also established interests in the media industry. She is the co-owner of Baite Television, a station that broadcasts in the Meru dialect.
Her husband Mugera Baichu, a musician, also owns a stake in the Baite Tv station. Further, Mwangaza also owns Mwangaza Tv which is an online television.
During the campaign period, there were allegations that Kawira was working with former governor Peter Munya who is a rival of the outgoing governor Kiraitu Murungi.
Murungi and Munya have been rivals since the 2017 elections when Murungi trounced the latter to take over as the governor.
Mwangaza celebrated her victory after the declaration on Friday, August 12. She joined the list of the seven women who have been elected as governors in the just concluded elections.
Other elected women governors include Fatuma Achani, Gladys Wanga, Susan Kihika and Cecily Mbarire.