Hon. Abdul Rahim Dawood is a seasoned politician in Kenya, the current North Imenti MP elected on a Jubilee Party ticket in 2017. Being a Kenyan of Asian origin, Rahim has defied all the odds to receive overwhelming support from Imenti North residents, mainly due to his development track record and accessibility by the people.
Hon. Rahim is probably the most decorated sitting MP in Meru and the larger Mt. Kenya East region, having joined active politics in 2007 as a Councilor under the Narc-Kenya Party. He was later elected as the Commercial Ward Councilor and went on to become the North Imenti MP in 2013 under the Alliance Party of Kenya (popularly known as MBUS), a party led by Kiraitu Murungi.
In the 2013 general election, Rahim trounced TNA’s Silas Muriuki, who had just won his only term as MP after several attempts. Rahim Dawood was re-elected as North Imenti MP in 2017 on a Jubilee Party ticket and has served in several key committees in the National Assembly. He has made clear his intention to seek a third term in the August 2022 polls, contesting on a Jubilee Party ticket.
Education & Family
Abdul Rahim Dawood attended Meru Primary School in Municipality Ward, where he attained his Certificate of Primary Education in 1976. The following year, he proceeded to the Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi for his ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels.
He graduated from the Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. His education was supplemented by a Master of Business Administration (Finance) from the same University in 2013.
Abdul Rahim Dawood is married to Hawa Musani Dawood, and they are blessed with two children, Tania Dawood and Alisha Dawood. The family lives in Milimani Estate in the outskirts of Meru Town.
Rahim has over time towered high as a strategic thinker, a philanthropist who has evidently dedicated his life to the less fortunate in attempts to raise their profiles. Even outside his political career, Rahim has financed several schools in North Imenti constituency and aided in the building of several worship centers.
From Councilor to MP
Rahim began his political journey as the councilor of Commercial ward within Meru Municipality where he initiated several projects despite the opposition he faced from his counterparts in the municipality.
During his tenure as Councilor, he received two awards, one from former President Arap Moi and another from President Mwai Kibaki, both for his exemplary service to the community.
Hon. Rahim was able to initiate several water projects, some outside his Commercial Ward, something that greatly endeared him to the people. He put up a pediatric ward at the Meru General Hospital, concerned by the overcrowding at the facility. Rahim also put up a dialysis unit at the same facility, which was officially commissioned by First Lady Hon. Margaret Kenyatta and the then Governor Peter Munya in 2015.
It was Abdul Rahim Dawood who oversaw the construction of a new water and sanitation project at the Gakoromone open air market in Meru town. He also funded a girls’ dormitory at the Kaaga School for the mentally handicapped and paid for the construction of a kitchen at the women’s section of the Meru GK Prison.
As a Councilor, Rahim became a household name and featured greatly in changing the lives of the street children though an effective feeding programme. He conceived the idea of building three thousand kiosks which were to be disbursed to small scale business people in North Imenti constituency, although the Municipal Council at that time rejected the proposal.
As councilors around the country were busy demanding higher pay and MPs flatly refusing to pay taxes on their allowances, Hon. Rahim set a precedent by becoming the first politician to donate his entire salary to area voters. His growing popularity motivated him to contest for the Meru Mayor’s seat, where he narrowly lost by 2 votes, citing interference from his long time rival Hon. Silas Muriuki.
Hon. Rahim Dawood Achievements
1. Schools Infrastructure
School infrastructure remains a challenge countrywide, something that continually affects education outcomes and enrollment rates.
“When I was first elected as MP in 2013, I found schools in North Imenti receiving a paltry Ksh 200,000 or no CDF money at all. A school like Munithu Primary, right in my predecessor’s backyard, had only received Ksh 200,000 in a period of 5 years. In my first term, I was able to give the same school Ksh 2.8 Million in CDF.” says Hon. Rahim.
“Mbuta Primary School in Nyaki East had not received a single coin from my predecessor in a whole 5 years. I found the school in a very poor state, and I have given them close to Ksh 4 million.”
Responding to former MP Silas Muriuki’s claims that he bought several school buses, Hon. Rahim says the project was burdensome to parents, since the CDF kitty only catered for the initial down payments.
“The buses he bought were not entirely CDF projects. CDF just paid a deposit of Ksh 1 Million. Parents were supposed to offset the balances running from Ksh 6 to Ksh 7 million. I found this to be too burdensome to the parents. In fact, in schools like Giaki Girls, the school buses were on the verge of repossession and we had to quickly offset the balances in 2013.” says Hon. Rahim.
2. Roads Network
Apart from the grading of several feeder roads in the constituency, Hon Abdul Rahim Dawood has played a critical role in the realization of key infrastructure projects in North Imenti Constituency.
“The Meru bypass was almost going to Eldoret after my predecessor brought in unrealistic demands. He said it (the bypass) should not go through the bush, that is Mwiteria and the nearby places. He wanted it to go through the town only. I said we want it whichever way, and we got it back.” says Hon. Rahim.
The legislator also intervened on the issue of land compensation, something that had caused a stand off between the affected land owners and the contractor.
“We organized several meetings in efforts to find an immediate solution. The National Lands Commission (NLC) had not released the money. I assured the people that I would pay them if the NLC defaults. It was a lot of money. Over 730 million. They agreed and work went on.” he says.
“The other major road I seriously fought for is the one from Ndurumo at the Junction of the Meru-Mikinduri Road, going to Giaki, all the way to Miomponi in Tharaka. After 50 years of waiting and promises from several leaders, the people in those areas can now travel easily and safely.” says Hon. Rahim.
“We were given 6km by KERRA to extend the road from Tuskys Supermarket to Mpuri. I was able to petition for more, and we ended up getting 39 Kilometers, running from North Imenti through Central Imenti, to Kithirune, Kariene, then to Gaitu and back to Giaki. My constituency ended up being covered on the lower side and on the upper side.”
3. Bursaries & Scholarships
According to Hon. Rahim, the process of allocating bursaries to needy students in the constituency has always been transparent, free and fair. The legislator has also personally sponsored several needy students.
“We allocate 35% of what we receive to bursaries. That’s between Ksh 35 to Ksh 40 million. The remaining Ksh 70 to 80 million goes to infrastructure projects.”
Hon. Abdul Rahim Dawood has always been passionate about quality healthcare. In 1983, while studying in Britain, he signed a donor card that upon his death, his organs should be donated to needy persons.
During his first term in Parliament, he sponsored a bill that sought to push the government to ensure that every constituency in Kenya has a well furnished ICU facility and a blood donor unit.
“My proposal was motivated by my experience way back when I was a Councilor. There was a fatal accident at Subuiga along the Meru-Nanyuki highway, where we lost two girls from Loreto Convent Msongari. Several others were injured and we had to import blood from Nyeri and Embu. The proposals were unanimously approved, but the government failed to implement them, citing the huge costs involved, to a tune of Ksh 29 Billion.” says Hon. Rahim.
In his first term as North Imenti MP, Hon. Rahim Dawood served in several key committees in the National Assembly, among them the Departmental Committee on Finance, Planning & Trade (2013-2017), the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (2013-2017) and the Procedure & House Rules Committee (2013-2017).
In his second term in parliament, he has served as a member of the Departmental Committee on Finance (2017-2020), and the House Rules Committee (2017 to date).
The legislator also played a key role in quelling the border conflict between Meru and Tharaka communities at the Kwang’ombe area. On electricity connectivity, Rahim says it’s work in progress, having delivered more than 30 transformers to needy areas, and with a promise to deliver 20 more in the coming days.
5. Meru Beautification
One of the most successful programs by Hon. Rahim Dawood as Councilor was the beautification project which changed the face of Meru town in a few years. The outlook of the town that hosts the County Headquarters and several high ranking offices has always been a priority for Hon. Rahim.
6. Youth Empowerment
Hon. Rahim Dawood has been severally lauded for his dedication to empowering young entrepreneurs in North Imenti, with several successful initiatives touching on small scale traders in Gakoromone and other trade areas in Meru town.
A lifetime champion of quality and affordable healthcare, Hon. Rahim Dawood built the Meru Hospice Clinic and Offices at Mwendantu in 2017. The Clinic brought great relief to cancer patients from Meru. The legislator funded the project in memory of his dad who died in 2014 due to cancer.
Meru Hospice is a charitable non-profit making organization that provides healthcare to the terminally ill, especially HIV/AIDs and Cancer patients. It initially operated within the Meru level 5 Hospital, before moving to the new premises at Mwendantu.
Hon. Rahim Dawood’s close association with the Meru Level 5 Hospital for several years has seen him initiate several development projects at the facility, having served as the Development Committee Chairman from 1996 to 2000.
He has continually offered unwavering support to Persons Living with Disabilities, and serves as the PLWDs Patron in North Imenti. In 2019 and 2020, Hon. Rahim procured limbs from India for 100 needy persons, whose arrival has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hon. Rahim Dawood Performance
Hon. Rahim Dawood Pictorial
Meru Daily News is your one-stop trusted source for the latest News updates from Meru County, Tharaka Nithi and the larger Mt. Kenya region. Follow our Social Media Pages for real-time News Bytes.