Cross her path and Cate the simba’s claws won’t spare you

In the eye of a storm, Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Wanjiku Waruguru tends to shine more than during civil times.

In the last few months, and since the beginning of the year, the former nominated MCA has engaged in more than four major brawls, the latest being last week’s incident in Nanyuki, where she was arrested for alleged incitement.

You would be forgiven for thinking she lives off brawls, until it dawns on you that she is a Member of Parliament, one who earned her stripes from the County Assembly, and, lo and behold, pursued a diploma in theology studies. When she smiles, and those are rare occasions, it’s full moon. Her round pristine eyes compresses into oval shapes, her powdered nose sexily curls and her gorgeous dental formation juts out to reveal her majestic beauty.

Whenever she waxes lyrical, especially in her native language, she blooms into a full-blown political goddess - one who raises the antennae of every ear - rich, poor, influential and regular. 

Tripping the tongue

Conjuring up the image of a lioness in a perpetual warpath, she sways to the sides, her right eyebrow jutting a little higher than the left one, gesturing dangerously with a drawn-out finger, speaking with absolute finality.

She talks very fast, sometimes swallowing some of herwords... bridging bridges. Some people say that in the process, she trips her tongue. In such heated moments, they say,  her “embarrassment” sounds like “emballassment” as are words like “lepubric”, “tomollow”, “simpry”, “malliage” to mean republic, tomorrow, simply and marriage respectively. Whatever the case, Waruguru, simply called Cate by many, is not the type that cowers easily as the Officer Commanding Station (OCS) Laikipia found out last week.

Dressed in crisp, blue suits, she took on the man in blue, in defence of taxi operators: “Gerr ourra my way… you cannot deny me my freedom of movement,” she angrily told off the OCS who appeared clueless on what lengths politicians can go, especially when cameras are around.

Momentarily, she took on a new job, TV lesson 101, turning to smile to the cameras and with her hands clasped just beneath her tummy, she intoned: “Now, this is the true picture of what goes on when people think that they are above the law…”

Soon, and without a warning, she darted off the TV script and adopted the lioness tone: “You must go, we do not want people who want to bring feelings into work… we want people who know the rule of the law. Get yourself busy doing meaningful work.”

The OCS should have known better, for such battles appear to only harden Waruguru if her past record is anything to go by.

In January this year, Waruguru stood at the site of dismantled tents at the Nanyuki bus park, dressed in jeans and issued a clarion call on town dwellers to help put back the tents together. “Wale mnapenda mama mkuje mnisaidie kueka hizi tents…”

Political wrath

She was scheduled to host a public event there, when hirelings descended on the erected structures at night and dismantled them. She would take none of it the following morning, demanding all to man-up, including the cops.

“Jeshi, kama mngetusaidia kuweka hizi hema…” she said while walking around and tapping the young men on the shoulders. “Si ndio boss... si ndio mudu…”

She has not spared Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi and his deputy from her political wrath. Seizing every opportunity, she has made it very clear that they have to mind her in their operations, lest she runs over them. As a matter of fact, she has promised to grind them into powder, but all in due course. When Muriithi attempted to poke his nose into a sanitary towels project, through a charity run, she took him head-on:

“A whole governor jogging, and in the process roping in the First Lady na wakora wengine, wanafanya gym purporting to help the young women of Laikipia…”

Earlier this year, she clashed with nominated MP Irene Wachuka aka Mama Yao aka Councillor Simba over, among others, over alleged name grab. Both women leaders claim the title “simba” in their political monikers.

“Tell them I am the daughter of Zion, mtoto wa sayuni.”

In February this year, she announced in style that her life was in danger and accused county government officials of scheming to kill her: “He said he is ready to resign and take me to the grave.”

Marriage certificate

But it was her escapade in July last year in Kericho that brought her to public limelight. Together with her husband, they were kicked out of a Kericho hotel on account of lack of marriage certificate. The hotel owners should have known better. Waruguru proceeded to milk the most out of the incident, making it a national conversation about marriage,  constitutional values of non-discrimination and land-grabbing of public spaces.

“I am hearing all sorts of things, some say Waruguru was with a tomboy. I was only with one man by the name William Kiprotich Kiget, who is my husband and he is in a polygamous relationship, and not embarrassed about it. I am not embarrassed about it either,” she told a press conference.

Waruguru took up parental responsibilities early in life when her mother died. This may explain her abrasiveness.

She is serving it raw and cold as life served it to her when she attended Kanyama Secondary School in Mathira, Nyeri County (2003-2006), before enrolling herself at Karatina Institute of Theology in 2007 for a diploma course in theology - never mind the scarcity of bible quotes in her rants.

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Catherine Wanjiku WaruguruNanyukiCate the simba