Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza, elected as an independent in the 2022 General Elections, is currently locked in a battle to keep her job. A section of Members of the Meru County Assembly are seeking to impeach her, the second impeachment threat she has faced since her election.
The embattled Governor, supported by her guitar-playing husband Murega Baichu, has vowed to stay put and denied all claims of impropriety and nepotism leveled against her. Mwangaza, who defeated Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi and former Governor Kiraitu Murungi at the polls, has maintained that powerful figures are out to get her.
Mwangaza’s rise to the summit of Meru politics was aided heavily by her investments in media. Alongside her husband, she owns the popular Meru language TV station Baite TV and the online TV station Mwangaza TV.
She also serves as a Bishop at her Baite Family Fellowship Church, whose services are broadcast on her media platforms.
Baite TV was established in 2015, 2 years after Kawira had lost in her first stab at elective office when she ran for MP of the newly created Buuri constituency in 2013.
Kawira has previously disclosed that she had spent over Ksh20 million campaigning and found herself heavily in debt following the loss at the polls. According to the Governor, she and her husband moved to Ruai and focused on farming onions and tomatoes as they looked to recover financially.
The opening of Baite TV in 2015 provided a launchpad for her political comeback. With its focus on grassroots news, it enabled her to connect with Meru residents, especially those in rural areas.
In 2017, she was elected Meru Woman Representative. She was popular in the role, and continued to use Baite to maintain her public profile as she eyed the gubernatorial seat in 2022.
“A while back, my husband started a TV station. I used to help him in sourcing for news here and there. That way, I got to understand the livelihoods of people on the ground,” Kawira stated while explaining how the station contributed to her win in 2022.
Prior to running for office in 2013, Mwangaza worked as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mwangaza Distributors, an energy solutions firm she founded.