How local politics played out during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kirinyaga

Friday, October 22nd, 2021 00:00 | By
Rachel Ruto, Deputy President William Ruto’s wife speaks to Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru during Mashujaa Day festivities at Wang’uru Stadium on Wednesday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

Local politics played out during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga county after Governor Anne Waiguru failed to introduce the local leadership.

Waiguru, who however, acknowledged that the county has been rocked with incessant wrangling among elected leaders, exploited the opportunity to outline her achievements to the gathering, which included President Uhuru Kenyatta, Malawian leader Lazarus Chakwera, Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi.

“I am also told that some people came to see what it is in this small county that makes headlines so often.

Whichever the case may be, I am sure by now you have experienced the warmth and love of Kirinyaga people,” the governor said before outlining her achievements in what appeared like a re-election campaign.

Waiguru, who has been torn between supporting Ruto or Raila in the 2022 elections, tactfully failed to acknowledge the presence of the county Women Rep Wangui Ngirici, area Senator Charles Kibiru  or even the local MP, Josephat Kabinga.

Sworn enemy

This notwithstanding the fact that Ngirici, her sworn enemy who has vowed to challenge Waiguru for the governor’s seat next year, had been instrumental in organising the event alongside Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, who also hails from the county.  

Waiguru’s rivalry with former Cabinet minister and Narc Kenya Martha Karua also played out as she avoided mentioning her name.

It took Raila, who was invited to address the gathering by Waiguru, to introduce Karua, terming one of the heroines of the country’s second liberation.

“We have two wonderful ladies here, one is the first woman to be the Chief Justice Madam Martha Koome, she is a heroine in her own right.

She was entrenched with ushering in the second liberation. We also have Madam Martha Karua, another hero,” Raila said to a loud applause from part of the crowd.

Waiguru and Karua engaged in a bruising and bare-knuckled competition for the Kirinyaga governorship in the 2017 General Election, with the latter accusing the former of stealing her victory although the High Court, Court of Appeal and finally the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the former.

Karua, like Ngirici has also announced that she will seek to dislodge Waiguru in the next year’s elections, and has in the past termed the governor as being unsuitable for leadership.

Kibiru, who won the senatorial seat as an independent candidate, has been on a warpath with Waiguru over the running of the county, and was among local leaders who were supporting her impeachment over alleged theft of county resources.

Ngirici on the other hand has been waging a sustained campaign against Waiguru, aided by her husband Andrew’s deep pockets.

The supremacy battle between Waiguru and Ngirici escalated when Kibicho, who was leading the  committee that was planning the Mashujaa celebrations, closed ranks with the Woman Rep and involved her in the preparations.

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