Why Gathoni Wa Muchomba Is Winning Hearts

By Lauryne Akoth

Githunguri MP Gathoni Wa Muchomba has captured the hearts of Kenyans for vehemently opposing the affordable housing bill.

Gathoni’s spirited opposition to the affordable housing bill has shocked netizens, as she is the only MP elected through a UDA ticket (United Democratic Alliance) to oppose the bill. The bill was tabled before Parliament this week on Tuesday for the second reading whereby the president scored a win when UDA garnered 141 votes in favour of the bill.

Speaking in the parliament during the second reading, Wa Muchomba gave a list of reasons for opposing the heavily contested bill. Atop her list was the issue of accessibility of the houses by all Kenyans.

“This bill should not be called the affordable housing bill, instead it should be called the affordable and social housing scheme 2023,” she read.

According to the MP, the bill should have catered to individuals living in remote areas. Among the amendments she put forward was enhancing affordability. She noted that the affordable housing bill has to be made affordable to Kenyans without a source of income.

Noting that the term affordable is relative, she said, “I do not think that the concept of stone, cement, and concrete is affordable to people living in Turkana.”

Furthermore, she also reiterated an amendment that was proposed in parliament; the legal framework for acquiring public land for the construction of affordable houses. She noted that the government had not proposed a legal framework for acquiring land to construct affordable houses.

“The government cannot purport to acquire public land to construct houses, lands that have been alienated for projects that support the community,” she said.

She cited an example of her constituency, whereby the government proposed to take up land meant for the construction of the Mau Mau veteran memorial and use it to develop affordable houses instead.

Lastly, she raised a concern regarding raw materials to be used for the affordable housing project. According to her, there are top government officials who have made the raw materials their business and are determined to make a kill at the expense of everyone else.

She proposed the raw materials to be sourced locally. Several netizens appear to be pleased yet shocked by her opposition tactics. The Githunguri MP has openly criticized the government on several occasions including the matter of the selling of illicit brew that claimed several lives.

She was quoted saying that the deaths of the victims of the illicit brew was a sad matter, one that reflected poorly on the government. ” This is a reflection of confusion in the government which accuses cartels of every flaw.”

Netizens have taken to social media to commend her for standing by her words on the affordable housing bill, and for refusing to be swayed by her other party members.  However, despite opposition from Wa Muchomba and MPs from the Azimio camp, the bill was passed.