Pollster TIFA has released what is a likely reflection of Mt. Kenya’s strong female leaders as the country warms up to 2022 – related election debates. Unsurprisingly, Kirinyaga Governor Ann Mumbi Waiguru is ranked as the most powerful female leader from the region, closely followed by a new entrant, Agnes Kagure and a host of elected leaders.
The findings were based on their visibility, engagement with people, financial muscle, ambitions and their general involvement in matters of national concern.
Meet Mt. Kenya’s Most Powerful Women.
1.ANN MUMBI WAIGURULoved, scandalous and charming. The current Kirinyaga governor is a household name, thanks to the scandals she has been associated with and also becoming one of the first female governors in the public. In Mt. Kenya, she is a favourite among the power brokers who view her as tough enough to safeguard the region’s interests in the coming days, should the region not field a presidential candidate and opt to support another candidate, most likely DP William Ruto.
2. AGNES KAGURE KARIUKIThe billionaire tycoon has been a behind-the-scenes political player since 2012, playing Key roles in the Jubilee campaigns, but has been the talk of town since word went round that she has her eyes set for the Nairobi Governorship, though other sources claim she could be a favourite Deputy President pick in the next elections. The Nyeri-born business magnate has rolled out several empowerment drives in the country and is immensely popular among the students’ fraternity, who she mentors and interacts with regularly.
3. PURITY WANGUI NGIRICI The tough-talking but kind-hearted Kirinyaga Women Rep and KEWOPA Chair is a rising political figure in the region. She is behind the Mt. Kenya TV that has swept the region, rivalling the Kameme dominance and her fierce criticism of Governor Waiguru’s excesses in leadership has cut her a niche in the country’s political space as a people’s defender. Insiders reveal she is keen to succeed Waiguru as Kirinyaga Governor in 2022.
4. MARTHA KARUAThough unsuccessful in her 2013 bid for President and 2017 run for Kirinyaga Governor, the fierce Martha Karua still commands respect and admiration in the region. Once a powerful figure in the Kibaki administration, the former Gichugu Mp seems to gain her former support base, especially at a time Kenyans have taken to social media sites pouring admiration on the Kibaki administration, and also due to her tough stance against DP William Ruto’s alleged debt that Mt. Kenya has to repay by supporting his presidential bid.
5. CATE WARUGURUThe first – term Laikipia Women Rep and Team Tanga Tanga front-liner first gained popularity due to her beauty and her fierce defense of the government but decided it wasn’t enough and cut her space in DP Ruto’s Tanga Tanga movement, occupying a leading role that she cements by delivering fierce attacks on the perceived enemies of development keen to see the son of Sugoi become President only on ViuSasa. Her calculation has worked out, she is now known all over and a person not to be ignored by anyone seeking central Kenya’s votes.
6. SABINA CHEGEThe Team Kieleweke-leaning Murang’a Women Representative is a no pushover in the political circles and with her firm stand with and defence to the President’s legacy has cast her as a loyal servant of the people and a strong defender of the community’s interest.
7. RACHAEL SHEBESHThe Chief Administrative Secretary in the Youth and Public Service docket has taken a break from active politicking, given her position in the Prof. Margaret Kobia Ministry but her political flame is known to burn explosively when ignited. She has on several occasions voiced her support for the handshake and slammed those against it, at a time when it is alleged that most leaders rush for favours from the DP.
8. GATHONI WAMUCHOMBA She was introduced to the public scene in a somewhat controversial way when she called for the increase of MP’s benefits and survived s recall initiated by her constituents. The Woman Representative of the populous Kiambu county has maintained public visibility by stalking controversy without fear. She recently alleged that there was a plot by Tanga Tanga MPs to impeach President Uhuru and also listed the three important things ladies expect from men. You can guess the point she dwelled on.
9. BISHOP MARGARET WANJIRUThe former Starehe Mp hasn’t had it easy in the last two elections, but she maintains a sizeable support base in the city. Maybe a political appointment would work to her rescue, but she is still highly regarded.
10. ESTHER MUTHONI PASSARIS Mama taa seems to have taken a tactical slow dive from Nairobi’s public eye, though visible at times. The ODM lawmaker representing Nairobi county, given her mixed parentage, doesn’t really fit into Mt. Kenya’s rural political mathematics but would be a formidable Deputy Governor candidate in the city or would easily retain her position.
12. MARGARET GACHAGUA The former Nyeri First lady is highly regarded in her Nyeri county and beyond, given her calm approach to stalemates and political issues. She has stepped up her public appearances in the recent days, could it be tactical perhaps?