Martha Wangari Karua is an iron lady hailing from Kirinyaga county. She was nominated as a presidential running mate to Raila Odinga for 2022 general election. Away from politics she is a mother of two and an advocate of the high court of Kenya. She is an astute leader and a strong advocate of justice, especially women rights.
She is the second born in a family of eight, four girls and four men. The family lived and brought up in Kimunye, Kirinyaga county. Wangari is a daughter to Jackson Karua and Josephine Wanjiru. To date the parents still live at Kimunye.
She was born on September 22, 1957. Going by this date, she was 65 years old as at 2022.
Martha Karua started her education journey at Mugumo primary school, Kabare Girls Boarding School, St Michael’s boarding school, Kirinyaga county.
Upon completing her foundational education she joined Kiburia Girls Secondary School, Ngiriambu Girl’s secondary school, and Karoti Girl’s secondary schools. It is a Karoti Girls where she did her East African School Certificate and passed. She joined Nairobi Girl’s secondary school for A levels
Martha Karua’s career journey
After her graduation from Kenya School of Law Martha worked as a magistrate from 1981 to 1987. As a magistrate she served at Nakuru, Kibera and Makadara law courts. However, in 1987 she left public service and started Martha Karua & Co. Advocates.
Her law firm represented clients such as Koigi Wamuere and Mirugi Kariuki in their treason case. She also defended several human rights activists. She was passionate as an activist that she risked being blacklisted by the second president, Daniel Moi.
It is through her passion and leadership to advance women rights that organizations such as FIDA-Kenya were born. Her contribution to family law especially in regards to matrimonial property can not be overlooked. Indeed she is an iron lady.
She started her political career in 1990 where she joined an opposition fraction that advocated for multi-party democracy. By the Kenya had only one political party, KANU.
Martha was once a member of Ford Asili party but she left after being short changed in favour of Geoffrrey Karekia Kareithi. Upon leaving the party she found a new political home, Democratic Party of kenya (DP). She won DP nomination and later won the election to become Gichugu member of parliament in 1992. She became the first woman to be elected as a member of parliament. Democratic party’s elected her as legal affairs secretary in 1993. She resigned this position after being appointed as a Shadow Minister for Culture and Social Services in 1998.
Together with other politician such as Raila, Kibaki, Karua form NARC in 2002. The party won the 2002 general election bringing 24 years KANU administration to an end.
Currently, she is the party leader NARC-Kenya.
Ministerial positions Martha Karua has held
From 2002 to April 2009 Martha Wangari Karua was appointed Minister of Justice, National Cohesion & Constitutional Affairs under Kibaki administration. She resigned this role citing frustrations in discharging her responsibilities.
She had previously been a Minister of Water Resources Management & Development where she implemented the water act. The act contributed to reforms in water sector in Kenya.
Martha political ambition did not just end with the end of Kibaki Administration. In 2013 general elections, she vied for a presidential seat using NARC-Kenya ticket. She lost it to the fourth president, Uhuru Kenyatta.
However, on May 2022 she is back to her ambition. This time round she has been nominated as a presidential running mate to presidential candidate, Raila Odinga.
Wangari Karua family and Husband
In an interview Karua openly declared that she is not married. However, she has two children Wawira and Dan. She has kept her children away from public limelight. Recently she has posed for a selfie photo with her son, Dan and posted it in her twitter page.
In regards to her husband she had divorced his husband Dr. Njoka in 90s and later settle wit justice GBM Kariuki upto 2008.
While vying for presidency in 2013, Karua publicly declared her wealth as a demonstration when elected she will uphold the constitution of Kenya. By then the iron lady is said to have property and assets valued at 60 million. She produced documents showing ownership of a house valued 40 million Kenya shillings and a 50% ownership for a house valued at 10 million Kenya shillings. In addition she owned a vehicle valued 6 million Kenya shillings. The value does not include liquid cash. Additionally, she is quoted to have said she is KSh 200 million worth during the 2022 Deputy President debate. Her explanation about her KSh 200 million wealth is the rate of inflation.
Official name: Martha Wangari Karua
Martial status: Single
Career: Politician and advocate