President now intervenes in Waiguru, Ngirici political fights

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/PD/PSCU

Eric Wainaina and Brian Musyoka

President Uhuru Kenyatta was yesterday forced to intervene in the supremacy battles between Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and Woman Rep Wangui Ngirici, which threatened to mar tomorrow’s Mashujaa Day celebrations.

Apparently concerned that the squabbles could overshadow the celebrations whose chief guest will be new Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera, President Uhuru  summoned the top Kirinyaga leadership to Sagana State Lodge in neighbouring Nyeri county and read them the riot act.

A statement from State House read: “President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Kirinyaga leaders led by Governor Anne Waiguru to unite and work together as a team so as to achieve faster development and prosperity for their county,” 

“At the same time, the President cautioned the leaders against politics of deceit and empty rhetoric, saying good leadership emphasises peace, cohesion and unity of the people as enablers of development,”  statement added.

The President was making reference to the war of words that has characterised preparations for the national celebrations that will be held at the recently constructed Wanguru stadium in the county. 

 Better prices

Uhuru said the various multi-billion development projects being implemented by the national government in Kirinyaga, among them the Sh8.5bn Thiba dam, would help transform the economy of the county and country. 

“We have fulfilled these projects because of the cooperation and peace among leaders, which has ensured that we not only transform the lives of the residents of Kirinyaga but also all citizens of Kenya.

 “Our rice farmers are now getting better prices for their produce. With Thiba dam we will be able to increase rice farming acreage to meet the local demand.

We need to grow and eat what comes from our county,” the President told the leaders.

Waiguru and Ngirici are locked in a battle of supremacy ahead of next year’s General Election with the latter having declared her intention to gun for the governor’s seat.

Also sucked in the supremacy battles between the two “iron ladies” is Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho who is believed to side with Ngirici.

Unnecessary tension

Recently, the Interior ministry warned that it had received intelligence reports that some leaders from Nyeri, Murang’a and Embu counties allegedly allied to Deputy President William Ruto were mobilising goons to cause chaos and embarrass the President during Mashujaa celebrations.

Waiguru has accused Kibicho of sideling her in planning for the celebrations and instead working closely with Ngirici and her husband, tycoon Andrew Ngirici.

Governor Waiguru who recently indicated that she would join the DP’s political vehicle of choice, the UDA, was quoted in a local daily stating that; “I have been sidelined from Mashujaa Day celebrations preparations, I absolutely have no say,” in an apparent attack on Kibicho who is coordinating preparations for the fete.

Kibicho, however, hit back, sating that the organising committee had allocated 300 slots to the governor and her supporters.

He further accused Waiguru of lying to discredit the work of the planning committee and asked leaders to stop causing unnecessary tension ahead of the celebrations. 

“I want to say that since we started coming to Kirinyaga, when we had our first meeting to launch the committee, we have been working well with the county government.

We have also been working well with the governor in every meeting we have had, and she has attended the meetings or sent a representative and, therefore, no decision has been made without her input,” Kibicho said.

The PS continued: “The truth of the matter is that we gave the county government 300 cards.

That is the truth and we should stop lying because we are State officials guided by integrity. Let us not bring politics in the celebrations.” 

Political competition

But things escalated on October 10, after workers of an advertising agency arrived in the town and started bringing down two bill boards bearing Ngirici’s portrait and replacing them with Waiguru’s.

 It took the intervention of Ngirici’s husband to save the workers who were pulling down the billboards from the wrath of an angry mob that wanted to attack them, and ordered them to reinstall the billboards.

Mr Ngirici accused Waiguru of provoking him into a chaotic political competition ahead of the celebrations, saying he will not fall to her temptations.

Later, after a meeting with the planning committee which informed him that it had decided that the area must be beautified with billboards bearing the portraits of the President and the governor, Andrew agreed to have Ngirici’s billboard pulled down but on condition that it be replaced with the President’s.

 “The committee planning the celebrations accorded us the respect we deserved.

hey told us that they would not want the county leadership wars to play out on October 20 because that is the President’s day. There will be no other Mashujaa Day the President will preside over. 

This will be the last one (before he retires). The committee has told me and Wangui (Ngirici) that this billboard will be replaced with President Uhuru’s photo, not the county’s,” Andrew said.

Unhappy, Waiguru accused Ngirici of using her husband to fight her, saying she also had an “educated, moneyed and handsome husband”, lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo.

“Let us stop insults. We should ask ourselves, there is no one who does not have a husband because I also have mine. But have you even seen him here loitering?

Did you elect Minji (Waiguru’s moniker) or my husband? If someone wants to contest for the seat, they are free to do so.

We also have husbands who are well educated and handsome and they have money but they never say it,” Waiguru said.

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