Isaac Mwaura: Rising against all odds - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 7 February 2021

Isaac Mwaura: Rising against all odds


Jubilee nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura is a man under siege, as he tries to save himself from expulsion from the ruling party.

Jubilee chairman Nelson Dzuya on Tuesday swore they will have “people like Mwaura serve as an example going forward”.

This in an attempt to contain the rebellion in the ruling party, which was triggered by the 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Jubilee Party leader, and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

This has since led to a fallout between Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto, the party deputy to whom Mwaura and other allies have sworn allegiance.

But Mwaura, or 'Muthungu wa Ruiru (the white man from Ruiru)' as he is called in his backyard, is unapologetic about his decision.

The lawmaker says he made his move for the sake of his political survival.

Mwaura says the tribulations he is going through in Jubilee are part of attempts to make people with disability electable. 

In August 2016, ahead of the 2017 general election, Mwaura decamped from ODM, which had nominated him to the National Assembly, saying he had consulted with the people of Ruiru. He unsuccessfully vied for Ruiru MP in 2017, a seat he is eying in 2022.

By the end of the day these things you do not do them because of anybody, you do them because of your own personal survival
Isaac Mwaura

He says he has listened to the people in the grassroots and the majority of them are supporting the DP's 2022 presidential ambitions.

“By the end of the day these things you do, don't do them because of anybody, you do them because of your own personal survival,” Mwaura says.

Away from the 2022 politics, Mwaura is a man of many firsts. He is the first Kenyan MP with albinism. On July 7, 2020, he made history as the first and youngest MP to take up the Speaker’s seat in Parliament. He led the session in Kiswahili.

The popular commentator on national politics on radio, TV and newspapers says he believes he was born to be a politician.

"I am given stories of how the brother of my grandmother used to say that I'd [be] a politician because I was very inquisitive," Mwaura says.

He says he grew up around women — his mother and grandmother (89) — as his father walked away the moment he visited the hospital and saw he had albinism. 

He, however, notes that he was oblivious of his condition until he was in Std 6 because "of childhood innocence and the love I got back at home".  That's when he gained full consciousness about his condition, politics and aspects of justice.

He started learning about the likes of Mukhisa Kituyi, Raila Odinga and Anyang' Nyong'o, who he says later became his political mentors. 

Mwaura holds a Bachelor of Education (Special Education and French) degree from Kenyatta University (2002-06) and a masters degree on Social and Public Policy from University of Leeds.

He also has an MA in Development Studies, which he attained from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2012. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in Public Relations Management, which he got in 2008. 

All this having started his basic education at Thika Primary School for the Blind and later joining Thika High School.

He started his career in June 2006 as vice chairman of the Albinism Society of Kenya, later joining the National Council for Persons with Disabilities as a public relations manager and Ag deputy director.

Between 2010 and 2012, he was an adviser on special groups in Prime Minister Raila’s office, whose party in 2013 nominated him to the National Assembly.

He says his greatest achievement is changing the conversation around disability and achieving his dream to become an MP.

"I am also behind Mr and Ms Albinism and the Global Albinism Alliance, to which I was elected to be in the first board with the highest number of votes by delegates drawn from six continents out of seven candidates," he says.

He adds that he has convinced the African Union to appoint an Albinism envoy.

"Even in the current BBI report, I am the one who pushed for the reinstatement of representation for people with disability. I also pushed to have features for the blind in our new currency. I have also mentored young leaders, some elected as MCAs in Kakamega and Bungoma," he says.

"I have done a lot but I don't want to heap praise on myself as all this is to enhance representation." 

His eyes are set on the Ruiru parliamentary seat but for now, he has a battle to win.

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