Edith Vethi Nyenze, widow of Francis Nyenze, is the new Kitui West MP after trouncing four aspirants to capture the seat formerly held by her husband for three terms.
The former high school principal vied for the seat on a Wiper Democratic Party ticket and garnered 14,372 votes while her closest rival Dennis Mulwa (Independent) got 2,046 votes.
Robert Mutiso (Narc-Kenya) came third with 1,784 votes, Freda Nyiva (Kenya National Congress) got 1075 while Elijah Kilonzi (CCM), who lost in the Senate election on August 8, got 499 votes.
While announcing the results, Returning Officer James Mbuvi said only 38 per cent of the registered voters cast their votes. He commended the aspirants for conducting peaceful campaigns devoid of violence, adding that the exercise was free and fair, which he attributed to cooperation between the aspirants and the election officials.
Nyenze thanked the voters for giving her a chance to serve them, saying the act showed the trust they had with her husband.
“You have given me the opportunity to be your representative in the National Assembly and I assure you that we will work together to move this constituency to the next level,” she said after she was declared the winner.
She will retain the seat perceived to be a symbol of dominance between the Nyenze and Mwendwa families, which have been calling shots in Kitui West politics for decades. She floored former Kitui Women’s Rep Nyiva Mwendwa’s son Maluki Kitili during the Wiper primaries.
The late Nyenze made history by breaking political dominance of the seat by the Mwendwa family when he floored Nyiva Mwendwa, then a powerful Cabinet minister in Retired President Moi’s regime, on a Kanu ticket in 1997 and was rewarded with an Environment Cabinet minister slot.
In 2002 Nyiva Mwendwa recaptured the seat throwing Nyenze into political cold until 2013, when he won the seat again on a Wiper party ticket under the then CORD coalition after Nyiva went for the Women’s Rep seat.