Chaos mars women function as Jubilee factions face off

Police arrest one of three activists disrupting "Inua Mama Jenga Taifa" rally at D. E. B. Primary School within Nyeri Town, which was attended by 32 elected women leaders on August 16, 2019. [Mose Sammy, Standard]
Chaos characterised a political function in Nyeri town on Friday when supporters and their leaders faced off in public. 

Women leaders who are part of the Inua Mama Jamii faction and are vocal in their support of Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential bid in 2022 were hosted by Nyeri Woman Representative Rahab Mukami in Nyeri Town Constituency. 

The leaders who held a similar meeting in Kirinyaga County attended the Nyeri event where Mukami was to issue cheques to various youth and women’s groups.

However, a few minutes after it started, the meeting turned chaotic when a section of the women engaged in a shouting match with youth who they accused of attempting to disrupt the meeting.

Mukami said she supported President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP Ruto while the youth shouted they support Uhuru only. Angered by the response, the women turned on the youth, and people fled in panic. 

The police then arrested several people and calm was briefly restored, with the leaders praising Mukami and pledging support for Building Bridges Initiative.

Among the leaders present were county MPs Wangui Ngirich (Kirinyaga) Jane Chebaibai (Elgeyo Marakwet) Gladys Boss-Shollei (Uasin Gishu) Beatrice Nkatha (Tharaka/Nithi), Gertrude Mbeyu (Kilifi), Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta) and Faith Gitau (Nyandarua).

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Maragua MP Mary Waithira and Kandara MP Alice Wahome pointed fingers at Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, alleging he was behind the chaos witnessed earlier in the meeting.“We will not allow anyone to intimidate women, we do not have to ask for permission to hold a meeting in this constituency,” she said.

Wambugu then arrived at the venue with some of his supporters, leading to a standoff between him and the women leaders. 

Police officers led by Nyeri OCPD Paul Kuria tried to intervene but Wambugu refused to leave, with Waithira taking to the podium and vowing not to leave also. Mukami then asked her supporters to disperse, stating the meeting could not go on. 

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Inua MamaJubileeDeputy President William RutoNyeri Woman Representative Rahab Mukami