Political witch-hunt and conspiracy theories crippling the advancement of women leaders: the case of Govs. Anne Waiguru and Charity Ngilu
As political discourse dominates public talk in Kenya, despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, women leaders have suffered the brunt of political theatrics in the court of public opinion, to the County Assemblies, Senate, and even the legal courts.
Two powerful women in the country, representing counties, the largest devolved form of Government in the space have had the name ‘impeachment’ used against them strongly.
Gov Anne Waiguru case was pushed out of the county level and placed in the Capital city, Nairobi, for all to see, in Kenya and abroad as her credibility in office was put into question.
Known not to shy from controversy, Gov Waiguru braved hours before the Senate Committee chaired by Senator Cleophas Malala and under the support of her legal counsel that included her husband, Lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo and won!
Her legal team punched holes into the evidence brought before the Senate by the Assembly, amid all the political drama around her hold onto power, exposing the underbelly of her opponents real or imagined.
However, Gov Waiguru is not out of the woods yet as the County Assembly through their lawyer Ndegwa Njiru geared up to take her case to the High Court.
Calls of impeachment also filled the air in Kitui County that is led by Gov Ngilu.
Her lawyers were pushed out of the Kitui County assembly and were not given a forum to communicate with the Speaker George Ndotto.
The lawyers, Stanley Kiima, Morris Kimuli and Martin Oloo sought to know why the Speaker had not withdrawn the summons for the Governor to appear before the assembly after the High Court halted Gov Ngilu’s impeachment process.
The Speaker was seemingly not neutral in the process as his role dictated. The assault on the lawyers was also condemned by the Law Society of Kenya.
Gov Ngilu sternly condemned the action against her lawyers and sought a proper notice of motion in line with the Assembly’s standing orders, and a list of at least two-thirds of the MCAs who have signed the verification forms.
A lot remains to be seen in the advancement of women leaders in Kenya as many still seem trapped by the patriarchy system that has dominated the country for decades.