Jubilee’s Tanga Tanga faction which comprises leaders supporting Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid have formed a separate women’s league that seeks to counter Team Embrace Kenya, an outfit they deem as an extension of Kieleweke, a faction opposed to Dr Ruto’s presidential ambitions.
The new team is known as Inua Mama and has 48 elected women leaders and is said to have the blessings of the DP Ruto.
It will be crisscrossing the country conducting fundraisers to help women form saccos while popularising Dr Ruto.
The Nation has learnt that Inua Mama plans to consolidate a strong women’s movement in the country that will later be used to vigorously campaign for Dr Ruto in 2022 General Election.
Kandara MP Alice Wahome is the chairperson of the outfit which is co-chaired by Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika with outspoken women leaders like Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa being in the technical committee.
Ms Wahome and Ms Kihika are perceived to be Dr Ruto’s staunch supporters and, at the same time, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s harsh critics.
The group aims to tame the Embrace team which popularises the political handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.
Inua Mama claims that, just like the Kieleweke outfit, the Embrace team undermines Dr Ruto as the second in command and that they are not genuine in their mission for peace in the country, maintaining that the country is not at war.
Ms Wahome told the Nation that her outfit has nothing to do with Team Embrace and that their agenda is to fight for economic empowerment for women at the grassroots, building capacity for grassroots women leaders by offering them a platform and partnering with the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) to empower women to seek for elective positions in future.
She added that they also aim to support each member’s initiatives in her electoral area.
She said they have no intentions to work with the Embrace team.
“During campaigns, we used to meet women groups while selling our manifesto to them. That is why we came up with the idea to have a political outfit where we shall economically empower the women of this country and also partner with Kewopa to nurture and motivate women to seek elective positions since the gender Bill that was aimed at bringing more women into leadership flopped,” she said.
She noted that the Inua Mama group will promote and compliment Kewopa, which is headed by Kirinyaga Woman Rep Wangui Ngirichi, who has also maintained that they will continue supporting Dr Ruto since they were told to do so by the head of State after the 2017 General Election.
Team Embrace brings together women on different political party tickets such as Jubilee, ODM, Kanu and Wiper Democratic MOvement and is said to have the blessings of State House and the top ODM leadership led by Mr Odinga.
Some of its members are Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru who do not see an eye with Ms Ngirichi and other MPs such as Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Wanjiru Chege, Gathoni Wa Muchombi (Kiambu woman rep), Ruth Mwaniki (Kigumo), and embattled Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi among others.
The group enjoys support from Gender Commission member Priscilla Nyokabi and Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry for Public Service, Youth and gender Affairs Racheal Shebesh.
The two factions are now set for bare knuckle engagement with Inua Mama team crying foul over the involvement Ms Nyokabi and Ms Shebesh in Team which they describe as a political faction.
“Ms Nyokabi and Ms Shebesh have been organising the Team Embrace which is involved in politics and they can’t do so using the Gender and Equality Commission and the Ministry of Public Service and Gender because the two departments call for equality for all women and not a faction,” Ms Wahome said.
But the Team Embrace vowed to stop at nothing to ensure that they protect the handshake between Mr Odinga and the President, saying they will even deal with Dr Ruto “should he disrespect the President”.