A division has emerged among women leaders in Embu over allegations that Governor Martin Wambora said Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire was unfit to oppose him since she is married outside the county.
Mr Wambora, had on Friday, without naming any person, said it was wrong for someone married in Teso to seek the governor’s seat in Embu.
A section of women demonstrated in Runyenjes and castigated Mr Wambora saying the remarks were aimed at Ms Mbarire, while another marched in his support in Embu Town.
Maendeleo ya Wanawake organising Secretary Jane Waroga said Mr Wambora’s statement was discriminatory and meant to portray women in bad light.
She said Ms Mbarire had served the people of Runyenjes well, despite being married elsewhere.
And in Embu Town, a section Maendeleo ya Wanawake leaders said Ms Mbarire did not deserve to be elected as the governor of Embu “since she is married to Mr Dennis Apaa, who hails from Teso.”
Pastor Mercy Njeri, of the Free Charismatic Church in Mukuuri, Runyenjes Constituency said the Bible ruled that women automatically belonged to the community where they are married.
Ms Milca Murugi, who hails from Kathangariri in Manyatta Constituency, said Mr Wambora had been unable to perform due to wrangles with county’s MPs, whom she said were distracting him.
STOP FEELING THREATENED
But Ms Waroga told Mr Wambora to stop feeling threatened by Ms Mbarire’s candidature but to tell residents his development agenda and what he has done with the Sh12.8 billion allocation from the National Treasury.
She wondered why, despite many men having expressed interest in the seat, Mr Wambora rarely talked about them, instead always talking about Ms Mbarire.
“By saying that Mbarire will channel county funds to Teso, does he mean that he took the 12.8 billion that the county has received as allocations from Treasury to Nyeri where his wife comes from?” posed Ms Waroga.
She pointed out that some of Mr Wambora’s CEC members, who are women, were married elsewhere.
“Many prominent women leaders in the country have proven capable and yet they are married outside their communities like Nairobi’s Woman Representative Rachael Shebesh and Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo,” said Ms Waroga.
The Maendeleo’s Embu County chairlady Mary Kavinda told Mr Wambora to embrace political competition, saying women have the right to get married anywhere and also to seek political seats anywhere in the country.
She warned Mr Wambora to trend carefully in his campaigns saying he risks losing the support of women in 2017.
Ms Kavinda recalled that Ms Mbarire supported Mr Wambora’s candidature in 2013 and so he should be very grateful to women at large.