Karua is sure bet for first Kenyan woman president

Thursday, May 19th, 2022 06:39 | By
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya presidential running mate Martha Karua. PHOTO/File
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya presidential running mate Martha Karua. PHOTO/File

I will start this piece with a disclaimer. This is not a political opinion. I hardly do opinion pieces because of the mediocrity pervading our political scene! But I digress.

For the avoidance of doubt, I and Azimio Deputy President nominee Martha Karua are not acquaintances. Our paths have crossed a couple of times in public. We have exchanged greetings once like she would do with anyone else who crosses her path, I guess. Therefore, this is not a PR piece or a campaign treatise for the Azimio duo.

Karua’s nomination is a historical moment for Kenya. She offers a ray of hope in a sea of despondency and utter confusion. She is a moral lighthouse that can steer us back to both the straight and narrow.

Interestingly, if Karua becomes the first Kenyan woman president after Raila Odinga, she will be sworn in by the first Kenyan woman Chief Justice and namesake Martha Koome.

Karua transcends tribal, economic and even gender lines. That is why she has an appeal across the board. Women around the country celebrated her appointment.

Although she was not born with a silver spoon, she has made it to the upper social class simply by effort. Interestingly, men do not stereotype her for having divorced her husband. They actually identify with her mettle.

Indeed, she has actually been endorsed by the “patriarchal” Kikuyu Council of Elders. That is a big plus and exonerates the community’s men from accusations of male chauvinism. In fact, she was regularly described as the only man in the Cabinet of the late President Mwai Kibaki.

A tiger does not proclaim its tigritude, it pounces. Karua does not wave her feminism in our faces. She has no sense of entitlement and understands that there is no free lunch for anyone.

She is also not one to be patronised; she has a mind of her own and sees things as they are, not through blinkers of expediency or political correctness.

Although she failed to clinch the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat, it was the residents’ loss. She fell victim to a euphoria that has since turned into a nightmare. The Mt Kenya region has learned the hard way.

Those who accuse Karua of being abrasive have been numbed by our political manipulation and deception. The so called iron lady is one of the rare Kenyan leaders who have the ‘balls’ to take the bull of corruption by the horn.

At the risk of sounding like Karua’s court poet, the truth must be told. For this country to change, the voices of reason must shout louder than the rhetoric staple on our political discourse. We must stoke the fires of transformation to catalyse the process of change.

For the avoidance of doubt, Karua is not greedy or corrupt, as far is humanely possible. She is not as white as snow, and may even have her Achilles’ heel. Again, that’s just human.

But she has the perfect bigger picture. Indeed, if Raila is Moses who did not see the promised land, Karua might just be the Joshua; who finally leads people to Canaan.

Raila and Karua are kindred souls. They make the perfect pair. They both walked out of Kibaki’s government when they felt that he was not doing enough to slay the dragon of corruption. They have been through the trenches, for real, at great personal inconvenience.

Ultimately, Karua knows that she would be in charge of a criminal enterprise that Kenya has become. Her date with destiny is in the horizon.

 If she becomes president after Raila, heads must roll. Well, symbolically speaking. But she must slay the dragon of corruption and greed in this country, and make it a haven of equal opportunities for all and sundry.

—The writer comments on topical issues

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