Kenya: Women MPs Perform Dismally in Infotrak Poll

29 September 2020

The latest Kenya Elected Leaders' Performance opinion poll conducted by Infotrak Research and Consulting and released on Sunday rated women poorly.

Out of 30 best performing MPs, there is no single woman MP.

Kasarani MP Mercy Gakuya was ranked the worst performing female MP at position 278, followed by Rangwe's Lilian Gogo at position 272 and Laikipia North Sarah Korere at number 267, all out of 290.

In the women MPs category, Naomi Shabaan leads as best performer at 61.6 per cent followed Edith Nyenze and 58.4 per cent, Naisula Lesuuda (57.5 per cent) Mary Wamaua (56.8 per cent) and Aisha Jumwa at 53.3 per cent.

Kisumu Woman Representative Rozaah Buyu leads the pack among the best performing woman representatives at 61.5 per cent followed by her Homabay's Gladys Wanga at 61.0 per cent with Obo Ruweida Mohamed of Lamu scoring 59.1 per cent.

Makueni Woman Representative Rose Museo attained 57.6 per cent, Kwale's Zuleikha Juma getting 57.2 per cent, Meru's Kawira Mwangaza 56.6 per cent, Sabina Chege 55.8 per cent, Beatrice Nkatha 53.3 per cent and Purity Ngirici 52.1 per cent.

The worst performing woman representative according to the poll include Kiambu's Gathoni Wamuchomba at number 47 out 47 with 39 per cent followed by Trans Nzoia's Janet Nangabo Wanyama at 39.6 per cent, Nyamira's Jerusha Momanyi 39.6 per cent and Nakuru's Liza Chelule 40.3 per cent. Tana River's Rehema Hassan closes the five bottom line-up at 41.5 per cent.

Some women MPs ranked poorly have, however, protested terming the poll as biased and does not represent the reality on the ground.

"People on the ground know I have worked. Anybody rating an MP should consult the parliamentary Hansard, which keeps record of questions, bills and motions an MP has asked or sponsored," said Wamuchomba.

Sponsored bills

The MP said she has sponsored three bills and asked three questions, wondering why the poll did not put that into consideration.

"The National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) has also rated Kiambu as one of the best performing counties, it is shocking the opinion poll did not factor such," she said.

Infotrak noted that whilst all elected MPs including the Woman Representatives have elaborate job descriptions, which include and not limited to legislation, management of funds as National Government-Constituency Development Fund(NG-CDF) and engagement in development activities, they are elected leaders who having sought the mandate of the electorate should be open to period performance appraisals by the constituents.

"The Infotrak Kenya Elected Leaders' Performance, which includes MPs and Women Reps Performance index has been designed on the premise that public perception and performance approval of political leaders is largely determined by our politicians' engagements and critical understanding on what resonates with their constituencies," said Ms Ambitho.

She added that this could be the MPs' legislative prowess and eloquence in parliamentary debates, or their proper handling of public finances such as NG-CDF, development project, personal touch and interpersonal skills and charisma.

Each county was allocated a quota sample averaging between 600 and 2,500 depending on the size of the county.

A county like Nairobi with 85 wards was allocated a larger quota sample of 2,500 while smaller counties like Vihiga and Lamu were allocated quota samples of 600 respectively. The average quota sample was 800.

Data was collected through Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews and data Processing and analysis was done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) a software package used to manage and analyse quantitative data.

Some women MPs listed as good performers by the poll, however welcomed it.

Humbled

Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda said it reflected what she has achieved on the ground.

"It has never been lost to me that I have to deliver to my constituents because I made a promise to them, but beyond that I know the doors for the girls and women in my community. I have no option but to excel. Thank you for believing in my leadership," the MP wrote on her Twitter handle.

Ms Wanga said she was humbled by the confidence and support shown to her by the great people of Homabay.

"The people of Homa Bay have been supportive since first electing me eight years ago. I will strive to always give the very best in representing and serving them as we rise together," said Wanga.

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