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Anti-Waiguru leaflets circulated in Kirinyaga at night

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For three years, Laikipia Woman Rep Catherine Waruguru (pictured) curried favour with Deputy President William Ruto.

As a member of Inua Mama, an all-women pro-Ruto political grouping, she was one of the leaders with an influential public persona and played in an orchestra conducted by the DP. All that ended in a highly-publicised meeting with ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Waruguru now says that like the Biblical Saul, she has had her road to Damascus moment. She has seen the light and heard the voice, only unlike Saul, rather than lose her sight, she has had her eyes opened to the reality of the political situation in Mount Kenya region and the error of her ways.

Now after a political awakening, the MP is regretting her Tanga Tanga days and her concern is to “deal with the propaganda” against the BBI and its proposals, which she had partly sold to her constituents.

Beyond that, Waruguru now admits that some of her intention in calling out the lack of development in Mt Kenya region was geared towards an outcome; to paint President Uhuru Kenyatta as a wanting leader.

“It was evident from my tone and that of other members of Tanga Tanga that I was advancing a narrative that President Kenyatta is bad and Ruto is the good one,” she said.

But if she has had her road to Damascus moment, then Raila is to her what Ananias was to Saul, the compass that set her on a new path. The political cost of her actions was made clear by the raucous greeting her appearing in a picture, hands outstretched as Raila squeezed the drops of hand sanitiser onto her palms. A literal cleaning of her hands and figurative erasure of any trace of Ruto she had on her.

“The constitutional review is not going to be done by the old Jubilee we knew. I have seen ahead and forecast where this country is going. My people have bestowed me their trust and I am not going to let them be in the opposition in the next government,” Waruguru told The Standard on Sunday yesterday.

Every other leader, she pointed out, was trying to associate themselves with Jubilee. “Kalonzo Musyoka, Isaac Ruto and Raila Odinga, all of them are aligning with Jubilee.”

Her stand has also brought on an awareness of the fleeting nature of political alliances and support. “It is like the weather. In the morning it is raining, in the afternoon sunny and in the evening you have thunderstorms. It is like that,” she said.

Yet Waruguru has shed little of her old self.

As confrontational as ever, the Laikipia MP has accused the DP of running a campaign from within Jubilee Party to discredit President Kenyatta and collapse his government. Ruto, she proclaimed on Twitter, owes some 10 million Jubilee supporters an apology for undermining the president and opening parallel party offices.

“We elected Uhuru not Ruto. With ur (sic) Asili shenanigans you have just asked for an impeachment and you’ll be served the impeachment hot,” she declared on Twitter.

“This is now confirming fears that have been there all along that the DP is running a parallel government to undermine the president.” Yet in threatening an impeachment motion against the deputy president, Waruguru is saying the very thing she accused Raila of doing and for whom she never hid her disdain.

Not one to shy away from personalised attacks, Waruguru infamously lashed at Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru for the very thing that she herself is doing now, warming up to Raila.

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“We have a woman who has recently been married and not given birth yet, but she’s busy telling us to await the birth of the BBI report,” Waruguru said in November.

A nominated ward representative only five years ago, Waruguru has mastered political theatre and gained infamy and renown in almost equal measure.

She cut her teeth beside DP Ruto, teeth which she was not afraid of baring when she felt her position or Ruto’s was threatened. Now she seems to have had a change of heart, from one of Ruto’s defenders she is morphing into a stern critic.  Her gripe, she says, is not with the man, but with his ideologies and method.

Those methods, and one carried out by Jubilee elected members in Mt Kenya, include a sustained campaign to paint Uhuru as having done little for the region. A smug Waruguru, in an interview with Kikuyu vernacular television station Inooro TV said Ruto was an unsettled DP who did not want to stay in his place and wait for Uhuru to support him in his presidential bid.

But she is just one out of a growing number of Jubilee members who are trading their hard line positions on the BBI and their outright support of DP Ruto’s 2022 candidature.

By The Standard on Sunday


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