Murang’a ‘Iron Ladies’ in supremacy face-off
They have emerged as some of the most outspoken politicians in the Uhuru Kenyatta succession politics pitting the two opposing sides in the Jubilee party power struggle for Mt Kenya.
Their true colours came out in the open during last Sunday’s visit by Deputy President William Ruto in their Murang’a county backyard.
The two, Kandara MP Alice Wahome and the county women representative Sabina Chege have come out as the iron ladies of Muranga County politics, with each pulling in different directions.
While Sabina is a staunch supporter of the President, Wahome is a diehard ally of his deputy.
The ladies are sworn enemies and do not see eye-to-eye.
Wahome was the host during the chaotic DP’s visit to Maragua in Murang’a County where two lives were lost as two opposing camps fought off.
Wahome, a second term MP is currently on the radar of investigators over the Sunday chaos.
Wahome, a trained lawyer, is a strong member of the Ruto camp and is currently the chairperson of the ‘Inua Mama” a team of elected women MPs supporting Uhuru’s deputy.
Sabina, a former journalist and an actor, is also highly regarded in the presidency owing to the positions she has held as the chairperson two powerful Committees - Education and Health Committees of the National Assembly.
“Sabina has made her name to be among the top politicians in the county. People here know her as Maitu wa County (Mother of the County), she will be a force to reckon with in the 2020 election,” said Peter Mwangi a Jubilee Party official in Kiharu.
She has ably chaired the two committees to emerge as one of the best performing lawmakers in the 11th and 12th Parliament.
Just like her “nemesis” (Wahome), Sabina co chairs the women wing equivalent to, “Inua Mama”, known as “Embrace”.
She is also serving her second term but is said to be planning to upgrade to the governor’s position.
Vie for governor
She is the only woman who has dared to take the challenge in the male-dominated gubernatorial race. Wahome, however, has been summoned to appear before the investigators to record a statement over the weekend matter.
The two lawmakers have been quick to deny any involvement in the Sunday skirmishes.
“I am lost for words; how are they picking on me? How can I outwit all the male politicians in the country to organise chaos of such magnitude?
I must be a very powerful woman,” Sabina told People Daily when asked to respond to allegations that she planned the chaos.
Wahome has had her side of history to tell during her time in the Murang’a politics.
She first ventured into Kandara politics in 2007 election where she was trounced by Maina Kamau.
In 2013 she gave the seat another shot and beat Kamau by a huge margin of votes to become the first woman MP for the area.
Wahome is feared in the political circles and the constituency and those vying against her can well tell her story.
Philip Kamau, who was Wahome’s opponent in the last election, describes her as extremely cunning and one who can maneuover her way the way she wants.
“Wahome calls the shots in the legal circles and one can do nothing to beat her,” Kamau told People Daily in an interview.
Wahome can be tenacious and relentless.
Kamau also known as PMG, said they fought each other in an election petition all the way to the Supreme Court.
“She beat me in Murang’a court on a technicality. I moved to the High Court sitting in Nyeri but the case was again thrown out.
I went to the Supreme Court where the file got lost,” Kamau narrates.
He adds: “I am in the Supreme Court without a file. I filed a judicial review over the matter but to date no action has been taken two years down the lane.”
Wahome made headlines last year when she attacked Uhuru and his government at a press conference she addressed in Mombasa.
During the address, Wahome made a stinging attack on the President accusing him of a plot to remain in power, even after his term in office expires in 2022.
She resisted calls for her to apologise the Head of State.
“I am a leader who was elected by the people and I am speaking on their behalf to raise the issues which are hurting them because things are not well on the ground,” said Wahome.
Just like Wahome, Chege’s political career has been dogged in controversy. She has been consistently vocal in defence of the First Family and the presidency.
Chege was initially a staunch supporter of Ruto’s, only to jump ship to join the Kieleweke bandwagon after it emerged that the differing political voices in the Mt Kenya region and parliament were threatening to widen the rift within the party and directly, sabotage President Uhuru’s effort to leave a lasting legacy afterhe retires in 2022.
When she was mentioned in a controversy where a man used MPs names including her’s to con MPs, Sabina managed to clear her name and even had the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), George Kinoti appear before parliament to clear the matter.
In the case, a con artist managed to register a telephone line, using the names of the Women Representative and make donation appeals to many people including the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.
While denying that she instigated the Sunday chaos, Chege said it is likely that the Ruto allies stage-managed the squabbles to gain politically.
“I hear several people mentioned my name, you are bringing visitors to insult leaders in Muranga, there were only two leaders from Muranga at that event, they probably state-managed it,” said a defiant Chege.
“I would not be surprised to hear that the tear gas they say was thrown into the church was done by themselves,” she said.