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Women Caucus Leaders Eventually Elected Despite Twists, Painful Experiences

We bring you the fights, pushovers and nagging that rocked the formation and finally the election of Kajiado Women Caucus leaders.

It was a journey that started in Mombasa when the MCAs from across the country trooped to Mombasa for County Assemblies’ Forum way after the last general election.

The idea of such formation was peddled in the forum by MCAs and it was agreed it would form one of the many standing committees in assemblies with a full budget to enable it to operate.

That whole idea was debated, and eventually sealed in Mombasa and the MCAs dispatched off from Coast to go back to their counties and establish their regional caucuses.

After the idea of forming the women leadership caucus became imminent that it would be a reality, some of the political bigwigs in the county including the speaker of the assembly, Johnson Osoi, and governor Joseph Lenku developed some vested interest.

Insiders, within the assembly, talks of memories when the governor started making ‘so many calls’ directed to certain MCAs regarding how the picking of the chair of the caucus would be done.

An insider, in the women caucus, even claims she was called by Lenku while she was in Mombasa and told to ‘follow’ instructions given by Jubilee bigwigs in the county.

On the other hand, Osoi is said to have settled on nominated MCA from North, Lucy Wachuka, for the seat of the chairperson “because of her seniority” in politics.

Osoi’s remarks appeared to have irked some of the souls of young MCAs to the effect that they openly rejected their speaker’s proposal and demanded an election.

Remained with no other option but to back down, Osoi gave in and the assembly picked Rombo MCA, Lengete Kamete, to work out on the modalities of the election and even move on to preside over the process.

In the assembly, already there was a huge division among the nominated MCAs – who are the actual stakeholders. The county was torn into two divisions; North and South.

Most of the young Turks had already settled on nominated MCA, Jacquelyn Nemaoi John from the southern end of the region in Kimana, while the others led by moderate MCA, Faith Sianka, supported Lucy Wachuka.

Wachuka and her team did not support the idea of the election because she believed all the positions of the House should be shared amicably as it was done for the speaker, leader of the majority and all others.

“The idea of election was mooted out so that I can be locked out of leadership position because I come from the wrong tribe. I was equally nominated to be a member of that House with full privileges of honourable MCAs, and it beats logic for a section of the House leaders to shortchange others,” said an irate Wachuka.

She gave another example of Ongata Rongai MCA, Mwathi Pere, who had been promised to take over the seat of the Majority Leader in the House, but was later, kicked out and the position handed over to Julius Moipaai (Imbirrikani).

“I am very bitter for what they did to me and I blame MCAs Yvonne Tonkei and Grace Koitumet for my woes. I brought up Koitumet politically, and here she was tormenting me,” said Wachuka.

In her defense, Tonkei said she has never attacked anyone, not even Wachuka, and all she did was to ensure the leader of the women caucus is elected by the majority and not being picked by certain people with vested interests.

She did not elaborate about ‘vested interests’ but went to say the election went on smoothly as planned.

The election was arranged by Kamete and set to be done at Weston Hotel in Nairobi, but in the last minute, the Rombo MCA’s wife fell sick in the night of that election eve.

It had been planned, and it had to be done. So Kamete picked an employee of the county assembly, Immaculate Parseina, to oversee on his behalf.

As the MCAs moved to the election hall, MCA Faith Sianka, called the members to order and announced that there will be no election without Kamete.

Effort made by other MCAs to explain to Sianka that Kamete had actually sent a representative him fell on deaf ears.

At some point in the ensuing drama, Tonkei grabbed Sianka and walked her out to explain to her the need of having that election.

After some time outside, Sianka appeared to have agreed with Tonkei, and the election started.

Tonkei and Koitunet appeared to have had an upper hand in organizing their campaign for when the bell rang; they managed 9 votes for Nemaoi Lalato (PNU nominee) from Kimana.

On the other hand Wachuka managed 4 votes in an election that was skipped by ODM nominee Sandra Mario, who is said to have locked her phone and went under.

After the election, Wachuka caused another drama in the counting hall in Nairobi when she refused to give a statement to concede defeat.

Enkini and Koitumet, are said to have been irked by Wachuka to the extent of using all their energies in forcing her to sign the declaration form.

“Nobody is going to leave this hall until Wachuka signs this declaration form,” one member was heard and later the politician from the North was eventually pulled down to submission and she signed the form.

Sianka is an old friend of Enkini, but on the election campaign for that position she told her that she would rather part ways with her over her support for Wachuka.

“Let us agree on all other issues, but for this one, I am sorry, my sister,” Sianka told Enkini at Weston.

For those who do not know Sianka, she is a relative of Kajiado South MP, Katoo ole Metito. Jacquelyn Nemaoi John, who was supported by Enkini and Koitumet, is the wife of John Lalaito, the man who stood against Metito in last general election.

That is the mathematics in politics which you have to know.

Wachuka said she decided to fight on until her last breathe in that election even though she was not for it.

After the election of the chair, MCA Grace Parantai was elected unopposed to take the position of vice chair.

 

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