2022 REALIGNMENTS

OMWENGA: Waiguru joining UDA will set women back decades

She has failed to distinguish herself as a woman who can be a decisive leader and have others follow her

In Summary

• Waiguru was an attractive candidate for deputy president because she checks several boxes.

• But rather than distinguishing herself as a woman who can be a decisive leader and have others follow, she is now suggesting she will follow other men 

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Democratic Party deputy leader Stephen Karau and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi at a Nairobi hotel on August 25, 2021
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Democratic Party deputy leader Stephen Karau and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi at a Nairobi hotel on August 25, 2021

Relegation of women to a status of being had but not heard from on anything is a global problem that each country is forced to deal with.

While we made progress in Kenya with the two-thirds requirement provision in the 2010 Constitution, gender parity is far from being what was envisioned in imposition of that requirement.

Rather, women are still struggling to enjoy the same rights men do and face all kinds of obstacles when all they are trying to do is stick their necks out there and seek that which anyone working hard ought to be able to obtain.

It is not all gloom and doom for women, however, as there has been a slow but gradual improvement in financial freedom, social and political participation in the country.

To this end, we saw a record number of women being elected to various offices after the 2010 constitutional reform, though we are not where we need to be with gender parity.

While women such as Governor Charity Ngilu have taken a stab at the presidency, even they knew it was a long shot. 

There will, however, come a time when Kenya will have its first female leader.

The US has been independent for more than 245 years but has yet to have its first woman president though many hope when that happens, it will be Vice President Kamala Harris, a woman of color to boot.

For Kenya to have our first woman president anytime soon, she would need to be in the incubator and by that I mean in a top leadership position beyond governor come 2022.

Were BBI not derailed by overactive progressives, joining forces with Raila Odinga haters and the Rutoists in between, we would have had it implemented and we likely would have had a female deputy president who would have been none other than Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

That is not speculation, it is something that was carefully crafted.

If you doubt it, go back and see what happened to Waiguru as she morphed from someone accused of high corruption to a guest at a certain famous office to singing BBI reggae with the handshake partners.

More accurately, Waiguru singing the refrain that we do not need another Kikuyu president, let sons of other mothers (and women one day) take a crack at leading the nation was not only timely, but it was also refreshing.

BBI chops aside, Waiguru was an attractive candidate for deputy president because she checks several boxes. The main one is that she is from Mt Kenya region, she is not Martha Karua and she is not overly wonky.

One of the arguments I and others regularly make in championing rights of women, being a father of two, is there is nothing a man does in business and politics a woman cannot do equally as good, if not better.

Yes, there are some women who scare men what they can do if given access to power, and a certain woman comes to mind but those are exceptions for most women are just as rational and well-balanced in their decision-making no different from men.

Waiguru has now borrowed a page from Deputy President William Ruto and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in trying to have the cake and eat it, too, or in the Musyoka formula, straddling feet on both camps.

That is being a typical politician of the male species rather than distinguishing herself as a woman who can be a decisive leader and have others follow, instead of her following them as she says she wants to do.

Doing so will set women progress in Kenya decades back as they will be dismissed as being no different from men, when they must make the case they are different for the better.

Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator