Before you knew Jayne Kihara as a Member of Parliament, she was just purely, Jayne.
And in 2002, she was in deep pain and thought, not only because her best friend and father to her children, Paul Kihara, was sick on a hospital bed, but because of the things he was telling her.
Paul asked his dear wife to come to his bedside in a hospital with a notebook and pen and take down some notes.
This happened in August during the height of the 2002 general elections. He was the sitting MP, hoping to get back to the office, but his body was not strong enough to engage in the rigorous campaigns.
Jayne came the next day with a pen and paper.
Paul informed her in great detail about the dynamics of the politics of Naivasha constituency including the needs of the people, what he had already implemented, his vision of the constituency, and who were his point men in all the 19 wards.
Jayne jotted down the notes, but at the end of it, Paul sent her on a strange assignment.
He said, “All I need right now is a doctor and nurse. You are neither. You are not doing anything sitting here with me, not even cooking the food I eat. But, I need you in Naivasha to campaign for my re-election.”
Despite his husband’s condition, Jayne refused the assignment but the Paul was firm on his needs at that time.
“Politics and family clash frequently, especially when you have young children, and this is why I had deliberately been absent in politics,” says Jayne.
However, adamantly, she agreed and took leave from her work.
She first typed the notes Paul had dictated to her, photocopied them, and started combing the constituency urging the people to vote for him in absentia.
“It was a hard task that included lots of travel, and talking to the people especially for me who was not used to politics.”
“I had always told my husband that politics was his domain and not mine, but he had now thrown me into the deep end. Out of my deep affection for him, I accepted,” said Jayne.
Following a lot of team effort and cooperation with his supporters, Paul had a resounding win against the powerful jogoo KANU party. The win was on a NARC party ticket.
Sadly, only one month after the constituency win, Paul passed on.
“He was looking forward to visiting Naivasha to thank the people for re-electing him, but, sadly, one month after discharge, he died,” says Jayne.
19 years later, she fondly remembers the love the people of Naivasha showed to her husband, electing him while in hospital, and tears well up in her eyes.
“Some came and saw him at home, but he never got to reconnect with them in the villages and shopping centres as he loved,” says Jayne.
Weeks after his burial, Jayne started receiving messages from different parts of the Naivasha Constituency. The people were growing anxious, and the campaign fever was heating up once again.
The people wanted Jayne to vie for the seat her husband left of Member of Parliament Naivasha.
IN OUR NEXT READ, FIND OUT HOW DISLIKE FOR POLITICS TURNED TO PURE LOVE.
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