By OKECH KENDO
Charity Ngilu could be a show spoiler or show-stopper depending on where you stand in relation to the crowded presidential pageant. More so on what side of the Prime Minister-Vice-President stake in the Kibaki Succession one is. But Ngilu has always said she is not anyone’s puppet. She is, like other presidential aspirants, a victim of ambition. President Kibaki’s imminent retirement has triggered these ambitions.
Ngilu thinks of herself as a showstopper because she brings clarity to issues, which other presidential aspirants have downplayed. And she does so in a way that exposes the vitriol so far spewed as presidential campaign platforms.
She rejects being a show spoiler because you cannot spoil for losers, whose campaign plunks are vendetta, spite, and malice. For her the losers are not down on numbers yet. They are pushed down by the pettiness of their campaigns. They have nothing to offer other than prejudice, turf of tribal jingo, and deep pockets.
Some of these pockets have been enriched by proceeds of impunity, running across regimes. On the eve of the Year of the Jubilee, Ngilu says Kenyans should reject agents of the status quo.
There was a time when Ngilu criticised Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, the conclusion would be she was doing so at the behest of Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The Prime Minister was supposed to have assigned Ngilu the duty of making Kalonzo’s presidential bid untenable in his own backward.
The VP personally asked his supporters during the 2007 General Election to “teach” this stubborn sister a lesson. They were supposed to tell Ngilu that there can only be one cock in the homestead and Ngilu wasn’t the one. The lesson backfired when Ngilu survived the Wiper onslaught. Now she is back, elegant, ‘degreed’, belligerent, and spoiling for a fight.
A Kalonzo checkmate for the PM she could have been, but there is much more to Ngilu. There is more to the woman who gave colour, passion, and poise to the 1997 presidential race. The race was then, as now, dominated by machismo oozing men, with sexist prejudice about women’s leadership.
These men thought Ngilu was, and still is, overprizing her stock.
Across two regimes, Ngilu has evolved into a political enigma. She defied the Wiper wave in 2007 to win the Kitui Central parliamentary seat on a Narc ticket. Working with ODM, a party associated with Raila, reinforced the perception she is on duty for the PM, who is Kalonzo’s rival in the Kibaki Succession race.
But Ngilu was rough and tough on Kalonzo long before she worked with ODM, through Narc, as a member of the Pentagon.
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