Politics

In Kajiado East, Mary Seneta will be the woman to beat

STEELY RESOLVE: Not once did Seneta drop the ball; she kept fighting for the welfare of the people of Kajiado East and in some instances was seen as the acting MP

In 2017, the legislator chose to forgo the comfort of the Woman Rep seat — which she would have defended effortlessly — to instead challenge Peris Tobiko

In the heat of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party nominations, it escaped the attention of many observers in Kajiado County that one candidate went unchallenged, which was curious.

Well, that is none other than nominated Senator Mary Seneta, who is now a heartbeat away from realising her long term dream of representing the people of Kajiado East in the National Assembly. That she did not have a challenger in the party is testament to how influential she is in the constituency.

This is also a form of reward for Seneta, who, through thick and thin, stuck to the party founded by Deputy President William Ruto. Her steadfastness to the party and what it stands for almost cost her slot in the Senate, together with other UDA-affiliated nominated senators.

UDA matters aside, Seneta is beloved to many in Kajiado East — especially in Kitengela, where most of the voters are to be found — due to her humility and commitment to the welfare of the people. When other leaders tend to ignore the urban population in Kitengela in favour of the less populated hinterland, Seneta, who is Kajiado’s first Woman Representative, consciously divides her time between both areas equally.

Her commitment to the welfare of the people of Kajiado East manifested itself when, in 2017, she chose to forgo the comfort of the Woman Rep seat — which she would have defended effortlessly — to instead challenge the “lioness”, Peris Tobiko, in her Kajiado East den.

So tightly fought was the Jubilee party nomination then that the exercise had to be done twice. Even the second time, there was so little that separated the two Amazons that party leaders had to call a truce, allowing Peris to go for the seat in the main election while guaranteeing Seneta a slot in the Senate.

Thus, beyond the humble motherly mien, lies a steely resolve to go for what she believes belongs to her, no matter the obstacle.

Under normal circumstances, one would have expected that she would take it easy in the Senate, since as a nominated senator she did not have a particular constituency she was responsible for. Seneta, however, did not take the easy way out; she had a goal, which was to serve the people of Kajiado East as an elected Member of Parliament in 2022.

Not once did she drop the ball; she kept fighting for the welfare of the people of Kajiado East and in some instances was seen as the acting MP when the incumbent was busy campaigning for the gubernatorial seat.

It is also noteworthy that all this time, Seneta eschewed political formations as is the practice with Kajiado leaders. She mostly kept to herself and only joined other leaders when it was absolutely necessary. This somehow made her independent and she was not seen to be leaning to either the Katoo ole Metito or Peris Tobiko camps.

That explains why it was rather easy for her when, a few days to the UDA nominations, she took to Facebook and declared that she would not favour any side in the April 14 contest.

Still, her decision not to be affiliated to political formations in Kajiado County suits the constituency she aims to represent, Kajiado East, which is cosmopolitan in nature.

As she embarks on the task ahead of her — fighting for the Kajiado East seat in August — there is every likelihood that she will face male contestants; out of the about seven other contestants for the MP seat, only two are female.

Whoever will face Mary Seneta on August 9 knows deep in their hearts that they have a fight on their hands.

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