Kawira: Fiery woman carves out a niche in Meru politics
Ruthless, cunning and a hard nut to crack are the words most politicians from the larger Meru region have continued to use to describe County Woman Rep Faith Kawira Mwangaza.
Her confrontational style has put her on a collision course with Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Governor Kiraitu Murungi both of whom accuse the Woman Rep of using her TV station to ‘terrorise’ opponents.
Using her vernacular Baite TV platform, Kawira has been accused of painting some leaders in the county of being non–performers as she lays ground for what is billed as a vicious battle for the governorship contest against the two men in the next election.
Munya faced her wrath when he served as the first Meru governor, often facing criticism from Baite TV.
A furious Munya fired at Kawira accusing her of running a “mad station” that saw nothing positive about his work.
“I want to tell Baite TV to seek mental treatment because something is terribly wrong with them.
There is no way you open your business just to attack and intimidate other leaders so that you can earn higher scores than them when you know that residents have eyes to see the development projects that I have initiated.
I wonder if the station was established to fight Munya,” charged Munya in 2015.
He further accused Kawira, who is also the bishop of Baite Family Church of hypocrisy.
Exit Munya and now Kawira is caught up in an ugly fight with Kiraitu who she has vowed to trounce in the next election.
“Kawira is a media terrorist. How comes Baite TV has been singing Kiraitu name from morning to evening for the last three years every day and seeing nothing positive about my leadership,” said Kiraitu, who has vowed to sue the station for defamation.
Members of Kiraitu’s administration two weeks ago raided the station and threatened to close it over unpaid taxes. The move prompted a confrontation that has forced Kiraitu, a veteran human rights crusader, to defend himself over accusations that he was persecuting Kawira.
“I know this raid is political and was ignited by Kiraitu because he is looking for any means to block me for ousting him but I am telling him I am not shaken and he should prepare to go home early in the morning coming 2022,” said Kawira.
But according to Kiraitu, he was not dealing with a simple village woman, but a “cunning, ruthless, a political hypocrite, a drama queen and master of deceit”.
“I am tired now and moving to court because they have been tainting my name by airing negative and defamatory stories even she brands herself as the only saint and Mother Teresa of the county,” he said.
In May 19, Meru County Assembly moved a motion “to tame Baite TV” for airing negative stories against MCAs.
The motion, tabbed by Muthara ward MCA Moses Ntoribu, was seeking to push the Media Council of Kenya to investigate and take legal action against the station.
“Baite TV has been airing false, biased, incorrect and defamatory statement against members of county assembly,” the motion read in part.
However, Kawira has been quick to dismiss the allegations of using her station that was launched in 2014 to intimidate other politicians, saying it only airs factual stories attributed to the residents.
Kawira defeated former Woman Rep Florence Kajuju in the last election.
She was initially lured to join Kiraitu’s camp in the last election, but defected claiming she had been rigged out during the Jubilee nominations. She then defected and run as an independent candidate and went ahead to defeat Kajuju.
“I will never trust Kiraitu in my life. He tricked me to join Jubilee Party and I was welcomed even by the Deputy President William Ruto only to realise later it was a trap to eliminate me and sneak in Kajuju who was in their camp after realising she was losing popularity, ” Kawira said.
Kawira endeared herself to Meru residents by a charity programme dubbed ‘Okolea’ which is always aired on Baite TV in which she made donations to the poor.