Elachi: Iron lady of city politics takes no prisoners

Sunday August 02 2020

There are political iron ladies like the late British premier Margaret Thatcher, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and former Justice minister Martha Karua. Then there is Beatrice Kadeveresia Muthoni Elachi, the Nairobi County Assembly Speaker.

The Moi Girls Vokoli High School alumnae is taking no prisoners in her quest to retain the seat while living by the Swahili saying, ukimwaga ugali, namwaga mboga. And if you dare cross her line then she deals with you mundu khu mundu (man-to-man).

From near punch-up with her nemesis assembly clerk Jacob Ngwele, a confrontation with Hamza Maringo MCA Mark Ndung’u, no love lost relationship with her sworn political enemy Matopeni ward rep Abdi Guyo and now a head-on collision with Governor Mike Sonko — she has been there, done that.

The former nominated senator has managed to take head-on her political adversaries and hit them where it hurts most, no matter where it is.

Interestingly, the staunch Christian holds both a bachelors and masters degrees in peace and security studies from Africa Nazarene University.



She made headlines this week when police beat MCAs as they tried to eject her from office. The ward reps are plotting a motion of censure against Ms Elachi.

Since making a comeback to her office last October, the once soft-spoken Speaker has metamorphosed into a political el matador who, like a duck to water, has found her place in the murky Nairobi politics.

She has managed to hold it against men in muddy waters of Nairobi politics and is surely on the path of inheriting the mantle of a flat truck political bully, once the preserve of city politicians such as the late David Mwenje, Reuben Ndolo, Fred Gumo and Ferdinand Waititu aka Baba Yao.

As one who counts the late no-nonsense politician John Michuki of the “if you rattle a snake be prepared to be bitten by it” as one of her political mentors, many MCAs in Nairobi have surely been bitten since her return to the office.

From spraying them with mafirifiri (pepper spray), locking offices with grills, turning the assembly corridors as a training ground for police officers amid shouts “Nyonga kabisa, perfect, piga risasi”, Ms Elachi means business.

Since her return, she has taken the fight to the doorsteps of her opponents and is ready for war after having learnt the ropes during her one-year exile from the assembly.

The former Senate Majority Whip declared the office of the speaker “her bedroom” and vowed to vanquish anyone who came her way.


“We are back. The bedroom starts here. We will stay, we will sleep here for weeks and weeks.

“This is the bedroom he talked about. We want to know who that powerful person in Jubilee here in Nairobi is,” she charged at Guyo.

“I have said you will kill Elachi and I will go to the grave but we should have put in a statement. We want to correct all the wrongs at the assembly starting with advertising for the position of the clerk,” was her warning shot to Ngwele.

The 47-year-old has been ruthless to say the least. She has had Mr Ngwele suspended from the assembly’s board, locked out of his office and appointed a new clerk in the name of Edward Gichana.

To Guyo, she had him stripped of his position at the assembly’s board and that of the Majority Leader and has declined to recognise his reinstatement into the position by Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju.