I’m ashamed of Gathoni, now the poster girl of MPs’ greed

Saturday August 26 2017

By CITY GIRL
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Dear Gathoni wa Muchomba,

You will remember me from a phone conversation we had about a fortnight ago. In my job as a journalist, I thought I could do an inspiring story about how — for the first time in the history of Kenyan politics — a woman was the third most popular candidate with the highest vote tally after the two main presidential candidates.

Gathoni, I was proud of you. Not because I grew up listening to Kameme FM, where your powerful, articulate voice rented the airwaves with majestic authority, but because you proved the naysayers wrong and you emerged top, historically, no less. You triumphed in style, in typical Wa Muchomba fashion, for which you have a sterling reputation for winning the hearts and minds of your constituents.

I was excited, not only because you engineered a brilliant glass shattering in Kenyan politics, but because in that 20-minute interview, it became very clear to me that you were all about issues.

You told me that your agenda number one for the people of Kiambu would be to tackle the issue of alcoholism, which has devastated the men of Central Kenya.

I could tell, from boldness in your voice, that it was an issue very close to your heart.

SALARY CUTS

This week, you talked about MPs salary cuts. Kenyans watched the entire interview, shell-shocked by the sheer audacity with which you relentlessly demanded ‘‘your pound of flesh’’ from already drained public coffers.

You were a promising, new voice of reason that spoke truth to power through your unflinching radio shows, where you harshly criticised MPs for doing the exact same thing you are doing today.

Kenyans thought you were different. They thought you were a straight, ethical leader with a good head on your shoulders. And then you crossed over to the other side. 

You turned out to be just like any other politician. Cold, calculating and greedy. Kenyans feel cheated, duped and taken for a ride, for believing in you.

Gathoni, I am ashamed of you. No, you cannot be the face of greed in this country. I refuse to accept that a woman who made history, is now the poster-girl for politicians’ greed.

You are mama county, you are supposed to be nurturing, self-sacrificing and empathetic. That is what mothers do. That is what leaders are about.

MORE MONEY

How, Gathoni, could you say that MPs need more money to “look decent”? What is that supposed to mean to the thousands of poor children in Kiambu, those without clothes on their backs, whose parents lined up at 6am to vote for you?

Why are you crushing their hopes for pieces of silver?  How can you say something so selfish in a country where the price of unga is at an all-time high, where nurses are still on strike and where there is no medicine in public hospitals?

You cannot afford to build your political reputation as a greedy, calculating politician who is not satisfied with what she gets. No, Gathoni, you are a muiguithania — to borrow from the name of your very popular radio show.

Muiguithania is a reconciler,  a peace maker; but you are giving us nothing but grief.

Let me remind you that you did not get into parliament to get rich. You are not in bunge to live a lavish life or “look decent”.

PARLIAMENT

You and I know that you could earn much more money outside parliament. You got into parliament to fight. Not to fight for a salary, but to fight for the great people of Kiambu.

You said; “I want to be paid well. I want to be honoured for who I am.”

I want you to know that only cheap people respond to money. If you want to be honoured for who you are, I suggest you start working.

Take some time to reflect on truly, why you got into parliament. Was it for money, power or for service to your people?

You argued that MPs, just like any other workers, need to be motivated by being well-paid. Gathoni let me tell you that if money is your motivation, then you are in the wrong place.

Could this be the real Gathoni? Are these your true colours? Was it an act all along? Is this finally the authentic Gathoni, the one who hid behind a smiley façade and a lot of charity work that we all fell in love with? Were you playing with our minds, hearts and feelings?

Kenyans are shocked at your swift turn around from Gathoni wa Muchomba to Gathoni waMucara (Gathoni of ‘salary’)  

Yours truly,

The City Girl.