About Martha Karua
Senior Counsel Hon. Martha Karua was born on 22nd September 1957 to Jackson Karua and his wife Josephine Wanjiru in Kirinyaga District as the second child in a family of eight. She is a Mother of 2, a grandmother and a devout Christian.
For Others, It’s Just Business.
For Me, It’s Personal.
Hon. Martha Karua is known to be a veteran social justice champion, Senior Counsel, governance and politics expert with a profession of over 30 years rooted in law.
*Martha Karua – campaign
Due to her rich and vital career which traverses across social activism, judicial constitutional and political arenas, Hon. Karua is admirably one of the most accomplished lawyers and politicians who played a significant role in the founding and development of Kenya’s pluralistic politics in a bid to augment democratic space in Kenya in the 1980-1990s.
As a result of this, the role of women in Kenyan politics has vastly profited Martha Karua’s efforts and exemplary career. As a founder of organizations such as the League of Kenyan Women Voters or leading women’s advocacy through FIDA, Martha actively lobbied for increased women representation in political positions.
For her primary education, she attended Mugumo primary school, Kabare Girls Boarding School, St. Michael’s boarding school in Kerugoya. She then proceeded to Kiburia Girls’ Secondary School, Ngiriambu Girls’ Secondary school, and Karoti Girls’ Secondary schools for secondary education. Her good performance in the East African School Certificate allowed her to be accepted to Nairobi Girls Secondary School (now Moi Girls’ Nairobi) for A-Levels.
Martha proceeded to study law at UoN between 1977 and 1980, then to the Kenya School of Law from 1980 and 1981 before being admitted to the Bar as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya.
In 2011, she obtained her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from USIU-Africa.
In 1987, Hon. Karua started her own law firm Martha Karua & Co. Advocates; with key interest in family law, human rights, constitutional law and administrative law.
She was one of the few lawyers who defended liberators like Raila Odinga against the dictatorial rule of former President the Late Daniel Moi. Her significant contributions in the expansion and protection of the democratic space in Kenya did not go unnoticed, and have secured her place in Kenyan history as a key figure in the achievement of multi-party democracy and the country’s second liberation.
Karua also worked as a magistrate in the Makadara, Nakuru and Kibera courts among others.
In 1992, Martha was elected as MP for Gichugu Constituency; becoming the first woman lawyer to be popularly elected to Parliament. She successfully defended this position until the year of 2013.
Martha was a key part of the NARC Coalition that helped President Mwai Kibaki win the presidency in 2002. She was appointed to serve as Minister of Water and is responsible for Kenya’s Water Act of 2002 – which brought much-needed reforms to the sector.
Thereafter, Martha Karua served as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs before resigning voluntarily in 2008.
In the 2013 General Election, she contested for Presidency under the Narc-Kenya ticket; making her the third woman to run for the highest office in the land. She was not successful.
In 2017, she ran for Kirinyaga’s Gubernatorial Position. She lost to Anne Waiguru but the election was contested in various courts – High court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, East African Court of Justice in Arusha. Concerns of lost evidence while in the court’s custody and determination of petition without resolution of the issue resulted in MK being awarded damages for infringement of her right to a fair trial.
In 2022, she was named as Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga’s running mate in the Azimio La Umoja, One Kenya Coalition presidential campaign. Her nomination as Deputy President was warmly welcomed and revered across the country by millions. The elections would end up being bungled by a partisan IEBC, and Azimio’s loss was upheld by a Supreme Court that was unprofessional and compromised.