After living in the United States for 12 years, Mary Muthoni Wachira has returned to Kenya seeking to represent Tetu Constituency in the National Assembly.
Muthoni, who is eyeing the parliamentary seat on a PNU ticket in the August 9th general elections, believes it is time to bring the expertise she has gained abroad to change the lives of Tetu residents.
“I first travelled to the United States to find out why businesses were failing in Kenya. What is in the US that is not in Kenya? What can be done for every family to take every child to school without struggle? Do we have to leave the country to make it?” Muthoni posed during an interview with Nation.
Muthoni, who heads the Kenya Diaspora Forum, has placed improving education, healthcare, business and agricultural production at the top of her agenda for Tetu constituency if she is elected as the new area MP.
The businesswoman promises to use the knowledge she has gained in the US and other parts of the world to transform the constituency. She says her job of taking care of a governor’s wife in Washington for five years, before working for another governor and later on for a senator has improved her understanding of how to deal with many problems.
“I have learnt from the best in a country where systems work, where you cannot fight, cheat or remove the system. If you are removed from the system, be it for a driving offence or credit, you have to work very hard to get back into the system. Here, people manipulate the system or remove the system because corruption is widespread,” she adds.
To advance education in Tetu, the MP aspirant has pledged to provide scholarships, build a first-world library and provide free internet for children to be connected to the tools they need to access quality education.
On healthcare, Muthoni plans to set up a chronic diseases centre to address many underlying diseases that afflict locals as well as a dialysis centre to facilitate timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
“There is no level 3, or even 4, hospital in Tetu. We have dispensaries. In fact, we had areas where Covid-19 cases were high because of the underlying conditions that many people suffer from,” she says.
“I am in the health sector in the United States and I am able to mobilise volunteers to help set up a quality healthcare system and provide and expand access to affordable and quality healthcare.”
Muthoni holds a diploma in marketing, a nursing degree from a community college in the US, and a degree in business management. She has also undertaken a series of courses in mental health and psychology.
“There is a lot of money in the United States and no one is asking for it, these are resources that can help transform our societies. We need to stop looking at the dollars they [Kenyans in diaspora] are remitting and focus on the intellectual resources they have to offer with their experience of having worked in most advanced, efficient systems in the world. The diaspora population is more than four million, brilliant minds with a lot to offer, but they do not know where to start,” Muthoni states.