Warm embraces yesterday characterised a 're-union' of the country's top women politicians, after the 2017 election that saw them polarised into the pro-Jubilee Red Berrets and the opposition's 'Resist' movement.
And the group that included governors and members of the bicameral Parliament used the occasion to unveil a new initiative dubbed ‘Embrace Women Building Bridges Kenya’— a bipartisan approach that they said will help solve Kenya’s divisive politics.
While Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, Kisumu’s Roza Buyu, her Mombasa counterpart Mishi Mboko had in the past led the ‘Resist’ movement, they hugged and pecked with Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire, Public Service Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh, and former Nairobi speaker Beatrice Elachi — their vicious opponents, now turned close political allies.
In a statement, the leaders said they were united by the March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
“We embrace the peace and stability and the sense of hope among our people that have come with the handshake after prolonged period of instability and hopelessness,” Ms Waiguru said in a statement on behalf of the women. Ms Wanga said that the union will soon have a national convention in Nairobi to cement the new relationship.
“We are going to use that convention to present our views as women to the handshake team,” Ms Wanga said. They also took a swipe at those they said had started very early 2022 presidential campaigns, and people they said were out to wreck the truce between the two leaders.
Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege said women leaders would no longer take a back seat but make their voice heard in the country’s politics.
“To all the leaders, we are telling them today: We are watching you. We are not going to allow anyone to lead us down a path of destruction. Not again,” she said.
Also in attendance were Taveta MP Naomi Shaban, Naisula Lesuuda (Samburu West), Eve Obara (Kabondo Kasipul, Peris Tobiko (Kajiado East), Busia Woman Rep Florence Mutua, and her Samburu counterpart Maison Leshomo.