Vie for Nairobi governor, women urge Anne Waiguru

Thursday January 28 2016

Former Devolution CS Ann Waiguru (second left) joins Nairobi County Grassroots Women Leaders representatives in a dance after holding talks with them at Ufungamano House on January 27, 2016. They asked her to consider vying for the Nairobi governor’s seat in next year’s elections. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former Devolution CS Ann Waiguru (second left) joins representatives of the Nairobi County Grassroots Women Leaders in a dance after holding talks with them at Ufungamano House on January 27, 2016. They asked her to consider vying for the Nairobi governor’s seat in next year’s elections. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NJAGI
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By LILLIAN MUTAVI
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Former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru was endorsed by over 200 women groups, who asked her to vie for political office next year.

The women from the 17 constituencies in Nairobi asked Ms Waiguru to go for the Nairobi governor’s seat.

They also asked her to continue with the work she had started with the youth and women while she was in the Cabinet.

Ms Waiguru resigned from her Cabinet position last November amid allegations that the National Youth Service (NYS), which fell under her ministry, had lost Sh791 million through corruption.

Although she did not openly declare that she will be running, Ms Waiguru indicated that she would be traversing the city rolling out projects that will benefit women and the youth and that she would continue with the work she began at the NYS.

“I will be visiting several grassroots areas, starting with Embakasi South next Sunday, so that I continue with the work of assisting the youth and women,” she told the jubilant women who had gathered at Ufungamano House in Nairobi.

However, she said Wednesday's meeting was only meant to thank the women groups and had no political agenda.

ENDORSEMENTS

She said the women had encouraged her through text messages and prayers when she was faced with corruption allegations involving her ministry.

Also endorsing the former CS for the governor’s position was Mr Evans Ondieki, who was sacked as Environment minister by Governor Evans Kidero on Tuesday.

Mr Ondieki claimed he was sacked two days after accompanying Ms Waiguru to a church service.

Dr Kidero has been caught up in a bribery allegation that he gave Justice Philip Tunoi Sh200 million to make a favourable ruling in an election petition against him in 2014.

Both the governor and the judge have denied the allegations. Yesterday, the Judicial Service Commission set up a committee to investigate the allegations against Justice Tunoi. The team is expected to release its findings in seven days.

Ms Waiguru said she would think about the demand by the women.

“I will take some time to pray and think about it then call a meeting to announce the way forward. I came to say ‘thank you’,” she said.

She referred to some of the projects she had started under the National Youth Service, saying she would like to see them completed.

“I will be talking to the Cabinet secretary in charge of women so that we can find ways of helping all the women groups in the city,” she said.

She pledged to come up with a timetable of the places she would be visiting and assured the women groups that they would benefit from the continuation of the work she began while at the helm of the Devolution docket.

Some rowdy youths tried to block Ms Waiguru’s exit from the hall, demanding handouts, but the women shielded her and escorted her to a waiting car.

“Between now and when I begin meeting you at the grassroots, I will take time to pray and also speak to people who will help me serve you because women are the future of this country,” she told the gathering.