Saturday, October 1, 2022

Biography and career profile of Lucy Gichuhi, former senator of South Australia.

Biography of Lucy Gichuhi: Lucy Muringo Munyiri Gichuhi is an Australian politician, lawyer and businesswoman. She was born in Kenya on 23rd September 1962 (59 years) in a rural village, Nyeri county called Hiraga. She is the firstborn of her father Justus Weru Munyiri. Lucy Gichuhi went to Hiraga Primary School and Kathurinyu Primary School. She used to gather food from the garden or help milk the family’s cows after school.

She went to Mugoiri Girls High School in Murang’a County and Lwak Girls High School in Bondo, Kisumu for her high school studies. She later moved to Nairobi to pursue a career as an accountant at the University of Nairobi. She graduated from the UoN with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting. She worked as an audit accountant for Ernst & Young from 1987 to 1991. Later she moved on to be the auditor at PostBank Kenya from 1991 to 1994.

She has worked as an auditor for several top firms in Kenya including Action aid, Kenya as an Internal Auditor for a year before leaving to join Madison Insurance Company, Kenya as an Audit Manager for 3 years after which she decided to move to Australia in 1999. Lucy Gichuhi is married to William Gichuhi and together they have three children, one deceased in 2021, and they moved to Australia altogether in 1999. The family lives in Adelaide Australia.

Biography and career profile of Lucy Gichuhi, former senator of South Australia.
Lucy Gichuhi and husband William Gichuhi at their wedding

After the turn of the century in 2000, Lucy Gichuhi had spent a year already in Australia. She moved to Australia to pursue a Bachelor of Law (LLB) at the University of South Australia. She obtained Australian citizenship in 2001 up to the present date. She also studied for a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Adelaide. She graduated from both Universities and thereafter became legally licensed to practice law in Australia. Mrs. Gichuhi worked as an International Student Liason at Careers for the Australian International College. Over the years, she decided to join the Women’s Legal Service in South Australia as a Lawyer.

Lucy Gichuhi decided to indulge in Australian politics where she has been successful. In a recount of votes ordered by the Court of Disputed Returns in Australia in 2017, she was declared to be elected Senator at the 2nd July 2016 Australian elections for the Family First Party which nominated her. Her predecessor, Bob Day, was declared illegible to stand for election.  Mrs. Gichuhi was sworn into office on 19th April 2017 and declared the first person of Black African descent to be elected to the Australian Parliament.

Questions were raised on her eligibility on citizenship grounds. This was not a problem as Lucy Gichuhi had already obtained Australian citizenship in 2001 which revoked her Kenyan citizenship. The Constitution of Kenya at the time did not allow dual citizenship so she automatically lost her Kenyan citizenship.

This was before the 2010 amendment of the constitution that allowed people to apply voluntarily for citizenship in other countries, and have dual citizenship. Her senatorial term came to an end on 30th June 2019 when she garnered 2,500 votes which were far from helping her retain her political seat in the senate.

Lucy Gichuhi grew up in a rural setup and she says that the concept of poverty never entered her mind and she is strongly against government handouts as she believes “they create victims and nobody wins.” Her Christian faith, she says, was the backbone of her political beliefs and she strongly supports the freedom of religion. She is strongly against homosexuality and the LGBTQ+ community.

She stated that she would vote against any proposed bill, regardless of the results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. On 29th November 2017, she was among the twelve senators that voted against the bill in the senate.

Lucy Gichuhi visited Kenya in January 2018 and was hosted on Citizen TV for JK Live by Jeff Koinange. A clip from this interview was widely reported in June 2018 that she said her $200,000 salary was “not a lot of money”.

She once joked in the Australian parliament quoting how a man would pay the dowry for a woman in the Kikuyu tribe of Kenya because the woman would be of great value and bring success and prosperity to the man. She said in her maiden senatorial speech, “Australia, you have taken a girl from Kenya. You may probably need to consider paying dowry (smiling). God bless Australia.” Lucy Gichuhi is an inspiration to many Kenyans that any dream is valid.

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