First Lady Margaret Kenyatta took the message of empowerment to the coast region Tuesday where she asked the women to vote for a President committed to their progress.
She said by choosing President Uhuru Kenyatta during the August 8 elections, the women will be voting for continued transformation of the country and the progress of all women.
“Let us together transform Kenya. Let us pledge as women to vote for progress”, she told the jubilant women at the Kenya Government School, Matuga Campus grounds during a meeting convened by Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO).
She reassured the thousands of women, estimated at 6000, that President Kenyatta will keep all the promises he had previously made to them including expanding the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF).
The Inua Jamii monthly Cash Transfer Program will also be expanded to include all orphaned children and people with disability across the country, she told the women drawn from the six counties of Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale.
“President Kenyatta asked me to reassure you that he will keep his promise to expand the Women Enterprise Fund and the Inua Jamii Program for the elderly”, said the First Lady as she asked the women to vote for President Kenyatta.
“I have come to ask that you, on 8th August, you vote for Uhuru Kenyatta, so that he can deliver his promises to you; so that he can finish his work”, appealed the First Lady.
She expressed optimism that President Kenyatta and herself will continue with their work uninterrupted after August 8.
Before she made her appeal, MYWO representatives from all the counties said they will pool all their votes in support of President Kenyatta.
They said they had already taken a decision to support a humble, merciful and respectful President (Kenyatta).
“We have decided it is Jubilee. We have a reason to vote for Jubilee this time round”, said Mama Fatuma from Tana River summing up the sentiments from other counties.
The women leaders cited the many projects and initiatives President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Administration had completed in coast province as reason to give him another last term of five years.
The women also want to ensure President Kenyatta’s re-election to allow the First Lady continue with her work under her signature initiative-the Beyond Zero Campaign- that focuses on the welfare of women and children.
They promised to mobilize all the women voters from the coast region adding that victory of who becomes President on August 8 will be determined by their votes. They hold majority votes.
“We are ready even today. This job of 2017 is over. We are waiting for 2022. Reassure President Kenyatta of our votes. We shall ensure Jubilee is voted back”, Kwale Women Representative Zainabu Chidzuga popularly known as Mama smart, told the First Lady.
The First Lady said President Kenyatta had made a firm promise to continue his work-making a difference in the fight against poverty and to provide social safety nets that change the lives of Kenyan communities.
Tuesday’s event was the seventh in a series of MYWO meetings the First Lady has attended in recent weeks addressing thousands of women in Kitui, Kajiado, Isiolo, Samburu, Kisii and Nyamira where they have all assured her they will vote for President Kenyatta.
The First Lady said the Government has set aside funds to refurbish public primary schools besides providing free education in public institutions upto form four.
And going forward, said the First Lady, she will focus more on the education of girls to enable them pursue technology and science-based courses and careers that they have avoided in the past.
She will also support the training of women in skills that enable them start and manage their own businesses.
“Women need to be empowered, women need training, women need access to markets to sell their wares”, she told the highly energized meeting.
“I have heard these issues, and I want to assure you that I will support you in every way that I can along with Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization”, she said
Others who addressed the meeting included MYWO national chairperson Mrs Rahab Mwikali Muiu, Secretary Elizabeth Mayieka and Principal Secretary for Gender Ms Mwanamaka Mabruki.
Earlier, the First Lady visited the largest Girls school in the county- the 760 student Matuga Girls National High School- where she met with teachers and students, among them three girls whose education she has sponsored through the four-year duration.
She donated sanitary towels and shoes to the excited girls where the three students under her sponsorship- Mary Vaati (F1) Riziki Bakari (F2) and Pauline Tatu (F4) volunteered to distribute the sanitary towels to their colleagues.
And after listening to the girls through their Head girl, the First Lady promised to explore what assistance her office can give to enable the institution acquire a school bus and refurbish its library which she toured.
School Principal Mrs Hellen Nechesa Machuka who welcomed the First Lady to the institution was the recipient of the 2014 Best Public Servant Award-the Huduma Ombudsman Award.
She was recognized for distinction in efficiency and servant-hood in the public service sector.
Her office is lined with over 50 trophies that the school has previously won at National level in drama, science and engineering fairs and hockey.