Nyiva Mwendwa: Why the hairdresser question has refused to go away

Former and first female minister Nyiva Mwendwa during the interview with the Standard at her home in Nairobi [Elvis Ogina.Standard]
Over the years, former Cabinet Minister Nyiva Mwendwa has remained quite shifty on the question of inclusion of a hairdresser in the Beijing delegation.

When she addressed herself to Parliament on the matter in November 29, 1995, she blew hot and cold, cleverly wading through the discussion.

“It has been alleged that I took my hairdresser with me. There is no delegate who went to Beijing as ‘the hairdresser of the minister.’ What happened is that we were taking businesswomen and some of them happened to have businesses like selling of clothes and hairdressing,” she said.

On that day, Nyiva tabled the list of 170 ladies who were in the delegation, 55 of them from Kanu and among them wives of Cabinet colleagues who had traveled with other titles.

“One went as KANU women leader, another one as church leader and another went as a woman leader. These baptisms were coming from the districts and I was not giving the names. What I took care of was to make sure that everything was in proportion,” she told Parliament.

Later in an interview with The Standard almost 13 years later, Nyiva admitted that she indeed took her hairdresser with her.

“I was minister and leader of the delegation. I believe people should look their positions and that’s why I had a hairdresser,” she said in an interview with writer Joe Ombuor in 2008.

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Nyiva MwendwaHairdresser