On May 23, 2023, President William Ruto nominated Wafula Chebukati’s wife to chair the CRA Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).
Hers is not a face previously familiar to many Kenyans, seeing that she maintains a low profile.
This leaves many to wonder: who is Wafula Chebukati’s wife?
Here’s all the information on her.
Mary Wanyonyi Chebukati is the daughter of the late Twyla Rose Nyandiko Otolo, who was a famous business veteran and politician in the 1990s, and Weston Yosi tolo.
She was born in a family of 9. Her siblings are the late Evans Otolo, the late Philip Otolo, former Mumias Sugar Company managing director, Coutts Otolo, the late Roger Otolo, the late Albert Otolo, former Vihiga gubernatorial aspirant, Hellen Otolo, Mrs Lucy Muvira, and the late Michael Otolo.
Mary’s age and place of birth are not disclosed.
Personal life and Family
Mary married the former IEBC chairperson, Wanyonyi Wafula Chebukati in 1990.
The two have been blessed with three children: Rachel Chebukati, Jonathan Chebukati, and Emmanuel Chebukati.
Mary and Wafula are rarely seen together in public.
However, in the few times they have been together in front of the cameras, their love and mutual respect is evidently seen.
Chebukati describes his wife as a supportive partner, which was clearly seen during the election period.
She stood by his side even when her and her kids hardly saw him due to his busy schedule.
She often asked the public to pray for his husband during the election period.
In his twitter message, Chebukati wrote:
“I would also like to sincerely thank my lovely wife Mary, my children…for the continuous prayers and for standing by me during the election period.”
Ms Wanyonyi holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.
She is also a Certified Public Accountant and a certified Mediator.
Ms Wanyonyi has had over 3 decades of experience working in the public sector as an accountant.
She is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), and the Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts (ICIFA).
Despite keeping a low profile and staying away from the limelight, her outstanding qualifications and expertise have seen her working in a variety of organizations.
She has served on the board of Kenyatta National Hospital, Cooperative University College, and Maasai Mara University.
As a certified mediator, Mary Chebukati has worked in conflict resolution with high problem-solving skills.
Currently, she is serving as the Senior Deputy Accountant General and Head of the Accounting Unit at the Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development.
In 2019, Ms Wanyonyi was involved in a scuffle with her siblings, fighting over their mother’s property.
Her siblings accused her of using her husband’s connections in the government to take all the inheritance for herself.
The property was inclusive of 14 acres of land in Mumias, two plots in Mathare, Nairobi, a plot in Mlango Kubwa, and houses in South B and South C.
The fights were mostly heated between Mary and Hellen, almost turning physical when Mary stormed her sister’s house, only to be confronted by her nephew.
Their mother passed away on July 3, 2022.
In October, Ms Wanyonyi was among the 477 shortlisted candidates for Principal Secretary Positions. Despite the interview, she was unsuccessful in securing the position.
In May 2023, she was among the 10 shortlisted candidates by the Public Service Commission for the position of chairperson of the Commission on Revenue Allocation, replacing Jane Kiringai.
On May 24, 2023, President William Ruto nominated Ms Wanyonyi for the CRA chairperson position. This came as no surprise given her leadership qualities.
This nomination has stirred up different opinions from the public and other politicians, some of whom are rejecting the nomination.
Some of those questioning her nomination are members of the opposition, including Martha Karua.
Her nomination is currently being vetted by the parliament. Upon approval, she will take over from Dr Jane Kiringai in the 6-year non-renewable term and will head a team of seven members of the CRA that were appointed earlier this year.
Mary is an inspiration to women in Kenya. Her prestigious career and happy family life are proof that it is possible to balance both family and career.