David Mwenje, former Embakasi MP dies

He first represented Embakasi from 1988 to 1991 when he lost the seat at the advent of multi-partyism to Ford Asili's Henry Ruhiu. During that tenure he is remembered for the role he played in the downfall of the fifth vice President, the late Dr Josephat Njuguna Karanja in 1989. Dr Karanja was then a Member of Parliament for Mathare Constituency (today Kasarani Constituency). Mwenje moved a successful vote of no confidence that led to the resignation of Dr. Karanja, who had replaced Mwai Kibaki as the country's vice president in 1988. Dr Karanja died in 1994. Mwenje served as an assistant minister for supplies and marketing during that time.

Mwenje later recaptured the seat in the 1997 on a DP ticket and successfully retained it in 2002 on Narc ticket. He briefly served as an assistant minister for cooperatives after the 2005 referendum. He was unsuccessful in retaining his seat in the controversial Dec 2007 elections and came fourth after Melitus Were and former city fathers John Ndirangu and Ferdinand Waititu. Mwenje, of the Jeshi la Mzee fame, will be remembered for his abrasive and violent brand of Nairobi politics only rivaled by Westlands MP, Fred Gumo.

Mwenje was hospitalized at the Aga Khan Hospital on January 12th where his condition deteriorated. He went to a coma and was transferred to the hospital's ICU unit where he was for 22 days until his death. His death comes barely a month after the death of his successor Melitus Mugabe Were. The Embakasi parliamentary seat is currently vacant. The murder of Mugabe Were is still unresolved.

In the oncoming by-elections the two remaining losers of the December elections, John Ndirangu, a former Nairobi Mayor and Ferdinand Waititu, a former Nairobi Deputy Mayor are expected to battle it out with Esther Passaris. Esther Passaris has the blessings of ODM top echelon. She failed to get the intended Nairobi mayoral seat after her nominated name was mischievously struck out by local government minister Uhuru Kenyatta at the time of gazzeting nominated councillors. Another possible ODM contender for the seat is former Makadara MP, Reuben Ndolo. Reuben is currently having a court petition case against Dick Wathika, the current MP for Makadara.

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