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Waiguru, a controversial career woman touted to deputize Ruto

Saturday, May 14th, 2022 14:05 | By
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. PHOTO/Courtesy
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. PHOTO/Courtesy

Anne Mumbi Waiguru is a household name to many.

Her name is very popular in the political circles especially owing to her drastic rise to prominence stamped through years of relentless toils having served in various roles in economic and public policy.

The 51-year-old mother of three is not only known for her charming and interactive nature but is also a go-getter who despite challenges strives to hit every goal in her life.

Owing to her effectiveness and keenness to detail in her life as a public servant, Wairugu has received several accolades in her lifetime signifying a competent technocrat whose absolute drive and commitment are simply unrivalled.

From a junior civil servant working behind the scenes to get jobs done to her rise to a governor’s position, Waiguru is a true depiction that nothing is impossible with dedication and commitment.

Born on April 16, 1971, Waiguru attended Nairobi River Primary School located in Buruburu, Nairobi before she graduated to join Precious Blood Girls, Riruta.

She later pursued her A-level at Moi Forces Academy and later managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and home economics from Egerton University and a masters in economics from the University of Nairobi.

The current second governor of Kirinyaga County is best known for her expertise in public finance and financial management system virtues that characterized her successful career as devolution Cabinet Secretary during whose tenure she initiated Huduma Centres across the country among other government projects.

The last born in a family of 4, comes from a humble background and her father worked in the police service while her mother was a businesswoman.

Like other girls, Waiguru grew up well exposed to both urban and rural life and often assisted her family in farming activities during holidays.

In the 90s Waiguru got married to lawyer Tony Waiguru and the two were blessed with three sons but the marriage later hit crossroads after the husband allegedly claimed that she was over ambitious in her career even more than him.

As a result, the two divorced, opening doors for city lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo who she exchanged vows with in 2019 at Kiamugumo Primary School in a colourful traditional wedding ceremony attended by political heavyweights including President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka.

Waiguru worked at the National Treasury as head of governance and the economic stimulus programme.

She worked as a director of International Financial Management & Information System and also worked at the Public Procurement Oversight Authority Advisory Board before she was nominated as the cabinet secretary for devolution and planning in 2013.

The good name of Waiguru however started being soiled by endless scandals at the National Youth Service that she spearheaded after she got implicated in a Ksh791 million scam.

The loss of NYS money is reported to have been characterized by dubious deals in the supply of road construction and building materials in a tender that involved six companies.

Although she has since denied involvement in the corruption case, Waiguru later claimed that she played a whistleblower role in detecting the scam.

After heated pressure from opposition politicians and Kenyans, Waiguru resigned from her CS position on accounts that her doctor had advised her to take lighter duties.

“Following my doctor's advice, I requested his excellency the president to relieve me of the responsibilities of Cabinet Secretary of Devolution and Planning and should he find it fit, to accord me much lighter duties, as he shall deem appropriate,” she told journalists in a press conference in 2015.

Later, the Kirinyaga county boss made a comeback to public service when she contested and won the 2017 gubernatorial seat in Kirinyaga county.

Three years later, 23 out of 33 Kirinyaga MCAs voted in favour of her impeachment on accounts of abuse of office and gross misconduct.

The county boss however survived after an 11-member senate committee found the allegations unsubstantial.

After months of “listening to the ground” on the best next political move, Waiguru ditched the ruling Jubilee Party for William Ruto-led United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a party whose ticket she hopes to use to defend her seat.

But Waiguru has been touted as a possible Ruto’s running mate in the August polls and her proposal by sections of politicians and residents hope to harmonize the second in command's political arithmetic of getting a larger chunk of the vote-rich Mount Kenya region votes.

Should Ruto pick her as his running mate in the Kenya Kwanza political faction and should the divide win the August 9 polls, Waiguru will become the first woman deputy president in the country.

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