Nairobi — Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru has refuted claims that she has always been hand-held by top leaders to rise up the political ladder saying she has fought to be where she is.
Speaking Wednesday during the Women Leadership Academy forum in Nairobi, Waiguru termed as unfounded allegations on her career due to her close political relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“I want to be clear because there are a lot of associations. My county was very unique because the two main candidates for the gubernatorial seat were women. Myself and honorable Martha Karua who I tremendously respect but I have to say this. The ‘system’s’ preferred candidate was her. PS Kibicho used to go around campaigning for her,” Waiguru said.
Waiguru reiterated that even to win a gubernatorial ticket during nominations was not easy as she had to contest for it with six other candidates.
“Karua was running under Narc Kenya ticket but her party was affiliated with Jubilee party. Then I was there with six men fighting for the same ticket. It was not easy, but I soldiered on,” she said.
The Kirinyaga Governor who emerged the winner in 2017 pointed out that she was not endorsed by President Kenyatta and neither was she handed the party ticket.
“When President Kenyatta came to Kirinyaga for campaigns, he did not endorse me. He told people to choose whoever they wanted, and he will work with them. It was a hard learning curve but as a leader, I already knew I was not going for an endorsement because when you are endorsed, you don’t earn as much respect as when you fight for the position,” Waiguru said.
Waiguru won the gubernatorial seat after garnering 161,373 votes against Martha Karua who managed 122,091 votes.
Karua contested the election and filed a petition in court seeking to have Waiguru’s election nullified citing election irregularities but lost the petitions at the High court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court.