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Catherine Waruguru: Laikipia’s nitpicking belle

Sunday September 22 2019

CATHERINE WARUGURU

For Catherine Waruguru, when it comes to matters Ruto theology takes a back seat. ILLUSTRATION | JOHN NYAGAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
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Catherine Wanjiku Waruguru, the second Laikipia Woman Representative, cuts the image of a distinguished politician who can transform herself into a political animal at any moment and place.

Ms Waruguru and controversies have become an inseparable pair, with her gift of the gab often landing her on the wrong side of the law and, occasionally, in trouble with her fellow politicians.

The self-declared ‘Mama Simba or Mrembo wa Laikipia’ has built her name not because of her prowess in legislation or ability to conduct oversight on the government, but for her penchant for public spats.

According to the Mzalendo blog, Ms Waruguru has spoken at least 88 times in Parliament, mostly on matters Laikipia or when defending Deputy President William Ruto.

CHURCHGOER

For Ms Waruguru, picking a brawl is as easy as counting 1-2-3, thanks to her abrasive and outspoken nature.

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Never one to shy away from controversy, Ms Waruguru was in her element last Sunday when she stormed the AIPCA Nanyuki church with over 200 seemingly inebriated “supporters” as Jubilee nominated MP Maina Kamanda addressed the congregation.

All because she wanted it known that she would not entertain any anti-Ruto elements in Laikipia County.

Not amused, the church leadership kicked Ms Waruguru and her goons out.

Unknown to many, away from politics, she is a theology graduate and a praise-and-worship leader at her local church.

But when it comes to matters Ruto, theology takes a back seat, as demonstrated on that day.

The towering brown-skinned lawmaker could not let the Ndindi Nyoro church saga end without her input, saying she was also a victim of police harassment when she defended the Probox and Sienta cars operating in rural Laikipia.

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Waruguru criticised the police for harassing owners of Probox and Sienta cars who have converted them into public service vehicles.

She once attempted to storm into a meeting where Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i was addressing local leaders and security bosses at the Mt Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki town to protest the alleged harassment.

For her troubles, she was promptly arrested after Dr Matiang’i left.

Equally comical Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut, with vast knowledge of the might of government thanks to his many years under the wing of former powerful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott, has previously taken the trouble to remind Ms Waruguru of the futility, if not utter peril, of fighting the government of the day.

“My friend, the government is like a big tree, when you think you are shaking the government you find yourself shaking the buttocks,” says Chepkut.

But it is the Kericho hotel chronicle that propelled her to the national limelight.

MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE

The hitherto obscure MP caused astir at the Sunshine Upperhill Hotel in Kericho after the management blocked her and her husband from spending the night there without producing a marriage certificate.

Unbeknownst to her, and of which the management had no qualms reminding her, no couple spends a night at the facility without that document.

Despite her protestations, Ms Waruguru was forced to look for accommodation elsewhere.

Ms Waruguru got the moniker ‘Mrembo wa Laikipia’ in 2015 during her days as an MCA when a delegation from Laikipia visited State House Nairobi.

Noticing her, President Kenyatta posed: “Mrembo wa Laikipia hauna kitu ya kusema?”

Not one to let such an opportunity pass, Ms Waruguru rode on the remark all the way to the August House, but that is a story for another day.

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