Australia swears in first black African senator

Lucy Gichuhi

Australia’s first black African member of federal parliament was sworn in on Tuesday in Canberra.

Lucy Gichuhi filled the South Australian seat in the Senate which was left vacant for over six months after the resignation of Bob Day from the Family First party.

Gichuhi, 54, who has spoken openly about her faith, was warmly welcomed by senators from all parties, with hugs and handshakes, after she took the oath.

“I am honoured and humbled to be sworn in today as the first-ever person of black African descent in the Australian Parliament.

“I thank God, my husband and daughters, my father and all other friends, family and supporters for your encouragement, and sharing the vision we hold to unite Australia as one,’’ Gichuhi said in a brief message on her Facebook page.

The Kenyan-born lawyer arrived in Australia with her husband and children in 1999 and became an Australian citizen in 2001.

Gichuhi was the second-ranked candidate on the Family First ticket, but will sit in the Senate as an independent after it merged with another party.

Day quit the Senate in 2016 after the collapse of his building empire.

Since then, the Australian High Court ruled him ineligible to stand for office because he had benefited personally from a government lease for his electorate office in Adelaide.

(dpa/NAN)

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